Tester's Bill to Increase Transparency in Elections Set to Become Law
Senator First Introduced Bipartisan E-File Legislation in 2008
(Great Falls, Mont.)—After a decade-long relentless push, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is poised to pass his bipartisan legislation to increase transparency in Senate campaigns.
Tester’s bill, the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act, is included in the bipartisan budget legislation that the Senate is expected to vote on later this week. The bill will require candidates to electronically file financial disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission, making them immediately available to the public and saving taxpayers money.
“For 10 years, I have been fighting alongside Republicans and Democrats to bring more transparency to our elections,” Tester said. “The finish line is in sight and this bill will finally bring Senate campaigns into the 21st century.”
Tester first introduced the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act in 2008 and has subsequently reintroduced the bipartisan bill each Congress since then.
Many Senate candidates currently file financial disclosures with the Secretary of the Senate on paper, which then have to be scanned into an electronic format. This costly process often takes months.
As a champion of transparency, Tester voluntarily files all of his quarterly FEC reports online.
Candidates for the House of Representatives and President already file electronically, or e-file, and the Federal Election Commission estimates requiring Senate candidates to do the same will save taxpayers nearly $900,000 per year.
Tester, a longtime advocate for campaign finance reform, has sponsored multiple bills to reverse the impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and increase transparency in elections.
Tester’s bill is included in the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act.