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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Clean Money Passes West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee

As the AP's Jennifer Bundy reports in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, on Monday, the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-5 to approve SB124, a bill providing public financing for qualifying legislative candidates. Senator Andy McKenzie called the proposal "un-American".

Paging Roy Cohn, paging Roy Cohn.

SB124's particulars:
-to qualify, candidates for single-member districts in the House must raise 100 contributions of $5; candidates for multi-member House districts must raise from 125-250 contributions, depending on the number of members in the district; candidates for senate must raise 250 (except in two districts).
-qualifying single-member House district candidates with an opponent would receive $7,500 in public funding for the primary and $7,500 for the general; qualifying Senate candidates with an opponent would receive $20,000 for each.
-funding for single-member House district candidates would be available in 2010; for other candidates in 2012.

The AP story says qualifying contributions are $10, but the bill as listed on the WV leg website says $5. West Virginia's use of varying-membered multi-member districts makes a simple recitation of the details more difficult. You can get all the particulars by clicking the link above.

Next up for the bill: the Senate Finance Committee.

If the bill makes it through, West Virginia would become the second state legislature after Connecticut to pass a system of voluntary full public financing of elections for itself. Arizona and Maine have passed public financing by ballot measure.

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