Rayfield to Introduce Campaign Finance Reform and Government Transparency Bills

CORVALLIS – Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) announced that he will introduce two bills during the upcoming legislative session aimed at campaign finance reform and increasing government transparency. The legislature will meet in February for a shortened 35-day session. During this short session each house member is limited to two bills.

Rayfield’s first bill is the product of working with numerous groups and organizations concerned about the impact of money in politics. The bill would create a small donor election program to allow candidates to be competitive and win elected office when only accepting small donations. Under the program, candidates agreeing not to accept donations greater than $250 would be eligible to receive matching money for their small-dollar donations. 

“By moving toward a system in which elections are funded by small donors, we’ll keep large moneyed interests out of politics,” Rayfield said. “It’s a system in which ordinary Oregonians can be as powerful as big money donors, thereby ensuring that everyday voters’ concerns and priorities are represented in public policy.”

Rayfield’s second bill would require legislators to disclose more information about their personal financial conflicts of interest. Oregon legislators are currently required to disclose things such as what businesses they own and personal income exceeding $1,000 from an entity or person with a government contract or a financial interest in legislative matters. Legislators, however, are not required to disclose significant sources of income that flow into businesses they own that come from entities or persons with financial interests in legislative matters. Under Rayfield’s proposed legislation, legislators would be required to report these additional sources of income.

“The public deserves to know what potential conflicts of interest each legislator has,” Rayfield said. “Transparency is a simple and painless way to rebuild trust in government among all Oregonians.”

The legislature meets annually, with a shorter 35-day session in even numbered years. The 2018 legislative session will begin on February 5th , 2018.