N.H. Campaign Finance Laws Would Apply To Local Elections Under Proposed Bill

Jan 14, 2020

Credit Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

A lawmaker from Keene wants the campaign finance laws that govern state elections to apply to city and town elections as well.

Under current law, rules for campaign finance disclosure are up to individual municipalities. But Democratic representative William Pearson wants the state to require anyone who runs in municipal elections and spends more than $500 to disclose their campaign finance records to the Secretary of State.

He says his proposed bill would make campaigns at the local level more transparent.

"There are plenty of interested citizens who look at this data and will tell you 'so and so raised this much money from so and so in the last election cycle,'" he says. "Now it's going to be the same thing for cities and towns."

Critics at a state house hearing on Tuesday said it would create more work for the Secretary of State, and would lead to the secretary being too involved in local elections.