TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi has joined as a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation to ban dark money in New Jersey.
“This legislation is a great first step in efforts to ensure accountability and to rebuild trust in government that has been broken by groups like New Direction New Jersey,” said Schepisi (R-Bergen).
Earlier this month she called on New Direction, a group promoting Gov. Phil Murphy’s agenda with television ads, to release the list of its donors backtracking from a pledge made last spring to release them. The group is run by former Murphy campaign staffers and is not legally required to disclose its donors.
“The irony of the governor’s calls for constant transparency is the thread of secrecy running through everything he is related to, whether he directly controls it or not,” Schepisi said earlier this month.
The legislation (A1524) would require groups that spend at least $3,000 for a candidate or influencing policy to publicly reveal donors. Groups would have to disclose contributors who give them more than $10,000 a year and report expenditures that exceed $3,000.
A Senate version of that bill was approved 12-0 by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Thursday.
In 2016, Schepisi introduced a stronger piece of legislation (A1957) that has lower contribution limits triggering disclosure. That legislation’s limits are $100 lower for state PACs supporting the governor and $1,000 lower for national PACs. The original Schepisi bill would also keep the ban on wheeling funds between county party committees, which the new bill eliminates.