Bill would expand election transparency
State Rep. John Edwards, who represents Portsmouth and Tiverton, is looking to finish what he started last year with a bill that would require any political party or political action committee advocating for a charter-amending question to file a report of all contributions and expenditures in excess of $100 with its local board of canvassers.
The bill, which has earned bipartisan support in the House, applies to all questions considered during an election or at a financial town meeting. Last year, the governor signed similar legislation requiring groups and political action committees advocating for charter-amending questions on a ballot to file a report for contributions received in excess of $100. Edwards argues that the enacted legislation does a great deal in increasing transparency, but the state needs to take another step to inform its citizens.
“It was a great step forward for the public to be able to see contributions to groups and action committees advocating for charter amendments,” Edwards said. “However, expenditures are equally, if not more important.”