This year’s march of state government campaign finance reforms continues, with the Governor of Utah signing H.B. 43 into law earlier this week.
Utah already requires corporations—including nonprofits—to report how much they spend on political expenditures once they reach a $750 threshold for a calendar year. But the newly enacted law requires these corporations to also disclose the name and address of every donor, defined as “a person who gives money . . . to a corporation without receiving full and adequate consideration for the money,” as well as the amount given. These corporations must also notify any person giving money to the corporation that the money may be used to make political expenditures and that the donor’s identity may be disclosed. Individual donors can avoid disclosure, however, if they sign a statement prohibiting the corporation from using their funds for political expenditures.
This legislation fits within a recent trend of state reforms aimed at increasing disclosure when corporations—and particularly nonprofits like 501(c)(4) organizations—become involved in elections. Opponents of the new disclosure requirements in Utah have already hinted at a court challenge. But short of that, these changes are set to take effect May 14th of this year.