State Senate committee kills public utility campaign contributions ban
The Senate Privileges and Elections Committee voted today to kill SB 25, legislation introduced by Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, that would prohibit candidates from soliciting or accepting a contribution from any public service corporation, or any political action committee established and administered by such a corporation.
A companion bill, HB 111, introduced by Del. Joshua Cole, D-Fredericksburg, is still making its way through the House of Delegates.
Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore offered the following statement on today’s Senate committee vote:
“Every senator that voted to allow Dominion Energy and other utility monopolies’ money into Virginia politics voted to weaken public trust in Virginia’s government. Passing this bill in the Senate would have sent a strong message that the General Assembly is finally ready to prioritize people over monopoly profit. Sadly, these senators, who collectively have taken at least $413,166 from Dominion, let down their constituents. Every time one of Dominion’s captive customers turns on their lights, they are unwittingly subsidizing the corporation’s political influence. We have seen over the past decade how that political influence has been directly detrimental to those same customers’ interests in terms of higher bills, billions in overcharges and environmental degradation.
“It is now up to the House of Delegates to protect the democratic process in Virginia from legalized monopoly corruption. Every flipped seat in 2019’s General Assembly elections went to a candidate with a principled stance against accepting campaign contributions from Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power Company. We hope all Delegates listen to their constituents and vote ‘yes’ for the Public Utility Campaign Contributions Ban.”