Proposed Bill Seeks To ID Employers, Workplaces Of Campaign Donors

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State lawmakers in Montgomery are studying a bill that would require many campaign donors to list their employer and line of work.

State Rep. Mike Ball (R) of Madison is sponsoring HB 259, which mandates that donors who contribute $100 or more to any state election publicly disclose who they work for.

Rep. Ball told WHNT News 19 that his bill is part of an ongoing effort to bring transparency to state elections. Ball claims it will allow voters to make more informed decisions because they would be able to see the political leanings certain companies or special interest groups have. Those giving less than $100 to a candidate or cause would be exempt from the requirement. Individuals who contribute more than $100 are already required to disclose their name and home address.

"This is one of those additional things we need to do to show where the money is coming from, and if there is a particular interest that a legislator may have," said Ball. "A candidate could load up on a particular occupation, law firms come to mind, and it's just good public policy as far as letting the voters know where the money comes from."

The bill has yet to clear commitee, but Rep. Ball said it has strong support in both chambers of the legislature. A mirror version is being pushed through the Senate by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R) of Decatur.

State lawmakers spent much of last year overhauling the rules that govern campaigns and election law in Alabama, with the elimination of PAC to PAC transfers among the noteworthy changes.