Bills to Watch in 2012 – Democracy

Our advocates are following these bills and we’ll keep you posted on opportunities to take action. Find the bill language by clicking the title.

Campaign Finance Reform

S. 20 – AN ACT RELATING TO FINANCING CAMPAIGNS FOR ELECTED OFFICE
Sponsored by Sen. White
Status: Senate Floor, Referred to Senate Committee on Government Operations

Limiting the influence of big money and special interests Vermont’s elections demands a two-pronged approach: enact commonsense limits on campaign contributions and establish better disclosure rules so that citizens know who’s giving how much to whom.  This bill is aimed at ensuring fairer and more transparent elections, which will encourage our politicians to do their most important job and represent our interests on today’s critical issues like health care, energy independence and toxin-free schools.

Citizens Fight Back: A Constitutional Amendment Reversing Citizens United

J.R.S. 11 JOINT RESOLUTION URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO PROPOSE AN AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION FOR THE STATES’ CONSIDERATION WHICH PROVIDES THAT CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PERSONS UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OR ANY OF ITS JURISDICTIONAL SUBDIVISIONS
Introduced by Sen. Lyons
Status: Senate Government Operations

In its infamous Citizens United ruling that said corporations are people and that their money is “free speech,” the U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates for powerful corporations to influence elections and drown out the public voice to an unprecedented degree.  To begin the process of reversing this wrong-headed decision, this resolution urges the United States Congress to propose an amendment the United States Constitution (states will need to pass the amendment by a ¾ majority for it to get ratified) stating that corporations are not persons.

Fusion Voting

H. 241 AN ACT RELATING TO NOMINATIONS BY MULTIPLE PARTIES
Sponsored by Reps. Moran, Macaig, Martin, McFaun, Poirier, Ram, South, Stevens & Taylor
Status: House Government Operations

Fusion voting would allow you to vote for your chosen candidate on any of the party ballot lines endorsing your candidate.  Fusion voting maintains the integrity of your vote—it still casts your one vote for your favorite candidate—but it means you’re sending an additional message about which party’s values come closest to your own, making it easier for your candidate to represent you after taking office.