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New Dem Bill Could Force Non-Profits to Disclose Who Donates

May 8, 2017 By Staff
New Dem Bill Could Force Non-Profits to Disclose Who Donates

A new bill working its way through the Connecticut legislature, and supported by Democrats, would require charities to tell the state who donates to them.

The Connecticut House of Representatives may consider an obscure bill on Tuesday that could, in effect, require non-profit organizations to disclose to the state government who donates to them.

The Yankee Institute, one of many non-profit organizations in the state, has taken a stand against the bill. The Yankee Institute says “if HB 5589 passes, we’ll be able to look up the position of every private individual who donates,” and “so will everyone else.”

The bill, which has 45 co-sponsors – 44 Democrats and one Republican – has the support of House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, an employee of the AFSCME union. The committee vote for the bill was nine (Democrats) for and eight (Republicans) against, all along party lines.

The Yankee Institute’s Marc Fitch explains the stakes with this bill (emphasis ours):

There is a broad consensus that donations to political campaigns should be disclosed. This bill seeks to expand what counts as a political donation to such an extent that it will include issue advocacy and other nonprofit activity.

…If the bill passes, organizations that support or oppose hot-button social issues such as abortion, gay rights and gun rights may be forced to disclose their donors to public and political scrutiny.

The bill may be voted on in the Connecticut House of Representatives as early as Tuesday.