Number of enacted donor privacy and disclosure bills has increased each year since 2020

Welcome to the Tuesday, July 25, Brew. 

By: Juan Garcia de Paredes & Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Number of donor privacy and disclosure bills enacted has increased each year since 2020
  2. Introducing Ballotpedia’s latest newsletter—Bargaining in Blue
  3. Winner of Aug. 8 Republican primary will be the next Mississippi Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District

Number of donor privacy and disclosure bills enacted has increased each year since 2020

States have approved more donor privacy and disclosure legislation this year than in recent years, with the number of enacted bills increasing yearly since 2020. 

Donor disclosure and privacy policy refers to legislation or regulation governing the confidentiality of nonprofit donors’ identities and/or personal information. Tax-exempt nonprofits are regulated under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code. States can add their own nonprofit regulations. 

A total of 10 bills have become law so far in 2023 (19% of introduced bills), compared to eight in 2022 (11%), seven in 2021 (18%), and four in 2020 (9%).

The number of bills passed in states with divided government also increased this year, as did the number of Republican-sponsored bills.

States with Democratic trifectas and states with Republican trifectas have approved the same number of bills this year as last (two and four, respectively). States with divided governments have enacted four bills (7% of all bills introduced), compared to two bills in 2022 (3%).

States with divided governments passed the following donor privacy and disclosure bills in 2023:

  • NV AB52, in Nevada, provides that if a nonprofit library or educational foundation is a public body as defined in NRS 241.015, it is not required to disclose the name of any contributor or potential contributor to the foundation.
  • VA SB1427, in Virginia, changes the deadline for PACS to report contributions. Also requires multiple contributions from a single source to be combined and reported as a single contribution.
  • KY SB62, in Kentucky, prohibits a public agency from requiring an individual or nonprofit organization to compel the release of personal information, including donations to nonprofits. 
  • KS HB2170, in Kansas, provides legal recourse to donors if an agreement is violated regarding an endownment fund with a recipient charitable organization. 

Republicans sponsored six bills in 2023, more than the two Republican-sponsored bills enacted in 2022 and the three in both 2020 and 2021. Democrats sponsored one enacted bill in each of these years. The number of enacted 2023 bills with bipartisan sponsorship decreased slightly (one) from last year (two). No bipartisan legislation was enacted in 2020 or 2021. 

In addition to KY SB62 and VA SB1427 (described above), Republicans sponsored the following bills enacted so far this year:

  • IN HB1212, in Indiana, prohibits state and local agencies from collecting or disclosing information identifying donors to a nonprofit organization.
  • WV SB516, in West Virginia, establishes requirements for disclosure of donor contributions, individual contributions for independent expenditures, and contributions made for the specific purpose of electioneering communications.
  • WV SB508, in West Virginia, requires the disclosure of the names and addresses of each person contributing  $1,000 or more to a grassroots lobbying campaign.
  • WY SF0040, in Wyoming, exempts 501(c)(4) political action committees making contributions or expenditures only to federal candidates or for federal issues from contribution reporting requirements.

To view donor privacy and disclosure legislation introduced from 2020 to the present, click the link below. 

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Introducing Ballotpedia’s latest newsletter—Bargaining in Blue 

We’re thrilled to introduce Bargaining in Blue, a Ballotpedia newsletter devoted to police collective bargaining agreements.

Law enforcement is one of the most important functions of state and local government, and sworn police officers are among the most visible government employees in every community. 

But the collective bargaining agreements struck between government officials and police representatives—and how those agreements influence policing and the criminal justice system–is not widely understood.

Bargaining in Blue strives to bring clarity to this important policy area that affects cities, communities, and our daily lives. Each monthly issue will bring readers the latest news, policy debates, and Ballotpedia’s own original analysis of police collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) in every state and the nation’s 100 largest cities. Here are the topics we’ve examined so far:

Bargaining in Blue will help you understand what CBAs are, what they contain, and what it all means for you and your community.

The next issue drops on July 27—click below to subscribe!

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Winner of Aug. 8 Republican primary will be the next Mississippi Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District

Chris Brown and Tanner Newman are running in the Aug. 8, Republican primary for the Mississippi Public Service Commission Northern District. The general election is on November 7, 2023. Incumbent Brandon Presley (D), in office since 2008, is running for governor of Mississippi

The Mississippi Public Service Commission is a three-member executive board that regulates telecommunications, electric, gas, water, and sewer utilities in Mississippi. The commission was established in 1884. Public service commissioners are elected to four-year terms with no term limits. 

In all 50 states, the public service commission is a multi-member board responsible for the regulation of utilities. Most states’ commissions have three seats, though some states have as many as seven seats. Public service commissioners are elected in 10 states and appointed in the other 40. Of those states that appoint public service commissioners, all but Virginia and South Carolina give the power of appointment to the governor.

According to DeSoto County News’ Bob Bakken, “It’s the first time, in three election cycles, that a new commissioner will be elected and a Republican is assured of winning the seat.” 

Brown is a business owner who has served in the Mississippi House of Representatives since 2012. Newman is the Director of Development Services for the City of Tupelo and a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). 

Both candidates have listed lowering utility rates, ending rolling blackouts, eliminating robocalls, and expanding broadband access as their top priorities. 

Newman said he would work across the aisle to find funding for infrastructure projects. “I believe North Mississippi has a long history of putting aside partisan politics and working together to find common sense solutions that keep Mississippi moving forward,” Newman said. 

Brown said, “Washington Democrats have pushed policies that kill jobs, destroy American energy independence, and crush middle-class families. … As Public Service Commissioner, I will stand up to unconstitutional mandates from these “climate activist” elites.”

The Mississippi Freedom Caucus endorsed Brown in June. Newman has the endorsements of the Mississippi Association of REALTORS Political Action Committee and the Home Builders Association of Mississippi BuildPAC.

In Mississippi, a voter is only eligible to participate in a party’s primary if he or she “intends to support the nominations made in the primary in which he participates.” However, this is generally considered an unenforceable requirement. Consequently, Mississippi’s primary is effectively open. In 21 states, including Mississippi, at least one political party conducts open primaries for congressional and state-level offices. Learn more about how states and political parties conduct primaries here

Mississippi belongs to the handful of states that hold off-year elections, that is, elections that are neither presidential nor midterm years.

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