Historic Campaign Finance Reform & Other Pro-Democracy Bills Signed into Law

SALEM — Today, Governor Tina Kotek signed historic campaign finance legislation into law and is poised to sign other priority bills to strengthen democracy in the coming weeks.

One of the most surprising and potentially most significant bills passed this year, HB 4024, the campaign finance reform bill, will reinstate Oregon limits on campaign contributions for the first time in decades and help make campaign spending more transparent.

Common Cause, Honest Elections, the League of Women Voters, and other good government groups have worked for this for decades. Twice before, good government advocates passed campaign contribution limits at the ballot, but these were struck down as unconstitutional.

Starting in 2015, Common Cause teamed up with Governor Kate Brown to clarify the constitutional authority for campaign finance reform, eventually getting the 2019 legislature to refer the question to voters on the 2020 ballot, where it passed with 78% landslide approval. Common Cause and Honest Elections also led successful campaigns in 2016 and 2018, passing model local-level reforms in Portland – limits, transparency, and a small-dollar public match program. And Honest Elections had a ballot measure for state-level reform headed to the ballot this year.

Though it was short, this year’s legislative session saw major wins for Oregonians across the board. In addition to campaign finance reform, other bills to strengthen democracy that will be signed into law include:

  • SB 1571 and HB 4153, to address the misleading use of artificial intelligence in campaign communications;
  • HB 4019, to clarify rules for casting Oregon state electoral votes to protect against fake elector schemes;
  • SB 1533, to expand translation of the voters’ pamphlet to more languages spoken in Oregon to help all Oregonians meaningfully access essential voting information.
  • SB 1502, to make public school board meetings more accessible and transparent by requiring that they are streamed online and allow for remote participation;
  • SB 5701, a budget bill that includes funding for Oregon elections administration priorities.

Statement of Kate Titus, Common Cause Oregon Executive Director

“We don’t have to sell our democracy to the highest bidder. When we organize and come together in common cause, we build power and a democracy that truly works for us all.

It’s taken a Herculean effort to get where we are today. Goliath always works to maintain power, but when the Davids of the world join forces, we can speak truth to power. 

This is a historic moment. Our work is not over — but Oregon is making a giant leap forward.”