SALEM—In a counter to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Rep. David Gomberg (D-Otis) and Rep. Ann Lininger (D-Lake Oswego) are co-sponsoring legislation which would require corporations to obtain a majority vote by their shareholders before contributing funds to political campaigns in Oregon.
“This is a bill aimed at promoting equality, accountability, and overall fairness,” Gomberg said speaking in favor of the bill. “This is a bill that states without equivocation that our democracy is one where individuals matter, where Oregonians have a voice in elections and that we need to restore public faith in our elected officials.”
If approved by the state legislature, HB 3332 would give every shareholder a vote on a corporation’s proposed budget for campaign donations and which campaigns money might be given to. If the budget receives an affirmative vote, shareholders would be notified when the donations are made.
The bill does not limit the amount of donations that corporations can make; it only requires that the individuals invested in the company are involved in the decisions concerning political donations.
The House Committee on Rules held a public hearing on House Bill 3332, the “Shareholders United” bill on Tuesday, March 30.
At the hearing, some opponents of HB 3332 brought up the decision of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission as an argument that campaign donations are protected as free speech. Proponents of the bill countered that it passes constitutional muster because it does not limit campaign contributions.
If passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Kate Brown, HB 3332 would take effect Jan. 1, 2016
For information about the status of HB 3332, go to https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Overview/HB3332