Mullery introduces two election reform bills

HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today introduced two bills which would make critical changes to Pennsylvania’s Election Code to expand background checks and campaign donation disclosures.

“Throughout our state, school board members interact with students but are not held to the same level of accountability as teachers and administrators,” Mullery said. “As a matter of safety, my bill would require anyone running to serve on a school board to undergo background checks before initiating their campaign.”

House Bill 851 would change Pennsylvania’s Election Code by adding a new section for school board candidates to submit state and federal criminal history reports, a certificate from the Department of Health clarifying whether the candidate is a perpetrator in a child abuse investigation, and a full set of fingerprints. If a candidate does not obtain these clearances, they would be ineligible to run for school board.

Additionally, Mullery said, “Nonprofit organizations have become more active in making campaign donations for candidates and, in most cases, they can remain anonymous. People have a right to know who’s making political contributions and under my bill, these loopholes would be closed so those donations can be made public.”

House Bill 852 would require a nonprofit organization that has the expectation of making contributions or expenditures of $25,000 or more in a calendar year to a political committee or campaign file a statement of organization with the PA Department of State. The nonprofit organization would also be required to file a report of the source of the 10 largest cumulative payments of $10,000 or more the nonprofit organization received from a single person in the current calendar year.

Mullery said both bills are currently awaiting committee assignments for further consideration.