When the state legislature reconvenes in January, lobbyists in Delaware will be required to disclose the issues they are advocating and the specific legislation they are attempting to influence in the statehouse.
Governor Jack Markell signed a bill into law Wednesday creating that requirement.
“This is a powerful idea. It’s a big step for transparency in the legislative and regulatory process. And voters will get to see on the state’s website exactly who’s trying to influence votes in Dover and regulations that come out of the state’s agencies.” said Gov. Markell.
Gov. Markell also signed two others aimed at increasing transparency in state government. One, the Delaware Elections Disclosure Act, closes a loophole allowing some third party campaign ad sponsors to remain anonymous. Now, anyone who purchases an ad that identifies a candidate is required to report the source of the funding for that political ad.
State Senate President Pro Tem Anthony DeLuca (D-Varlano) says the law could go further but is at least a first step.
“We don’t think that people should be able to hide behind the dollar bill in what their spending and what their saying. If you have a belief and it’s different than mine and you want to broadcast it, you go right ahead but put your name on it.” said
The third bill signed by Markell Wednesday increases the penalty for filing late or incomplete campaign finance reports from 50 dollars a month to 50 dollars a day. The penalties for late filing are effective immediately. The other new campaign finance regulations will not be in place for the current election cycle. They go into effect January 1st.