Good news from Clean Virginia:
Senate Committee Advances Ban on Public Utility Political Contributions with Unprecedented Vote
8-6 vote marks the farthest the bill has reached in the Senate after seven years of debate
Richmond — In a 8-6 vote this afternoon, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee passed a bill that bans political contributions from public utilities regulated by the General Assembly, namely Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power Company. Introduced by Senator Danica Roem (D-Manassas), Senate Bill 326 prohibits a candidate, political committee or campaign committee from accepting contributions from a public utility and prohibits a public utility or its political committee from making a contribution.
“The Senate Privileges and Elections Committee took a strong step toward protecting Virginia’s democracy from outsized political influence from Dominion Energy and other utility monopolies,” said Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore. “Dominion’s legislative influence has resulted in some of the highest electric bills in the country and more than $2 billion in customer overcharges in the last 15 years. Virginia is now closer to having a commonsense anti-corruption measure on the books.”
Former Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) introduced a version of this bill during every legislative session since 2017, and was joined in 2022 by Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Spotsylvania) as well as then-Delegate Danica Roem and Del. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan) in the House of Delegates. The House Privileges and Elections Committee has not yet heard a companion bill introduced by Del. Joshua Cole (D-Fredericksburg) this year.
Clean Virginia is a 501(c)4 independent advocacy organization with an associated Political Action Committee, Clean Virginia Fund. Clean Virginia works to fight corruption in Virginia politics in order to promote clean and affordable energy. We are motivated by the core belief that our democracy should serve everyday Virginians over special interests.