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Governor's Weekly Message Transcript: Informing Voters and Increasing Government Transparency


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This week, we made significant improvements to Delaware's campaign finance and lobbying laws.

Here at Buena Vista in New Castle, I signed into law three bills that increase transparency and provide greater and more timely information to the voters and residents of our state. Here's what they do:

House Bill 300 -- The Delaware Elections Disclosure Act -- is the most significant reform of our state's campaign finance laws in more than two decades. It closes a loophole with campaign ads, requires prompt reporting of third-party spending on campaign ads, and requires greater disclosure from those who spend money to influence elections. In short, this is an important piece of legislation in our effort to increase transparency in Delaware's elections.

Of course, even if we have the best and most innovative laws in the country, if we don't have meaningful consequences for violating those laws, people won't follow them. So the second bill I signed, House Bill 310, changes the penalty for filing a late campaign finance report from $50 a month to $50 a day and imposes the same fee for incomplete campaign finance reports.

Since 1994, we have had lobbying disclosure requirements that don't tell the public very much. Our third bill, Senate Bill 185, requires, for the first time, that lobbyists tell the public what issues they are lobbying -what bill, what resolution, and what regulation they are trying to influence. This is a powerful idea and a big step for transparency in the legislative and regulatory process. Voters will get to see on the State's website who is working to influence votes in Dover and regulations that come out of state agencies.

At a time when elections are very much on voters' minds, we are telling them loudly and clearly here in Delaware: you deserve to know more and we are making sure you will…as all of us work together to keep Delaware moving forward.

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