Campaign finance; prohibited personal use, penalty. (HB5)

Introduced By

Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) with support from co-patron Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Campaign finance; prohibited personal use; penalty. Prohibits the conversion of any contributed moneys, securities, or like intangible personal property by any person to the personal use of a candidate or member of the candidate's immediate family or an intimate partner of the candidate or a member of the candidate's immediate family if (i) such use yields a grossly disproportionate and unreasonable benefit to the recipient or candidate relative to the benefit realized by the candidate's campaign or public office, (ii) the fair market value of converted property grossly exceeds the benefit realized by the candidate's campaign or public office, (iii) a reasonable and prudent person would not ordinarily authorize such expenditure as beneficial to the campaign, and (iv) such use is made with a knowing, willing, reckless, or negligent disregard for the financial interests of the campaign. Complaints of alleged violations may be made by any person to the State Board of Elections. The subject of the complaint has 30 days to provide to the State Board documentation or other evidence that the use of campaign funds was permissible. The State Board shall call a hearing if it determines, after reviewing any response made by the subject of the complaint, that the use of campaign funds was impermissible. A person found by the State Board to have willfully and knowingly violated this section shall repay to the campaign committee the amount unlawfully converted. The State Board may also assess an additional civil penalty, in an amount not to exceed the amount unlawfully converted. Complaints may be declared factually meritless by the State Board when, viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the complaining party, it finds there is no credible allegation of a violation and such complaints shall be exempt from public disclosure for a period of time immediately preceding an election. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


11/20/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18100701D
11/20/2017Referred to Committee on Rules
01/18/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB5)
01/26/2018Referred from Rules
01/26/2018Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
02/13/2018Left in Privileges and Elections


Amy Hjerstedt writes:

Yes! This is a great bill and a good start to reforming VA money in politics problem. Campaign donations should not be used to fund personal expenses such as vacations and birthday parties. Campaign cash should only be used for campaigns and helping the political party ramp up for the next campaign. Allowing candidates to use campaign cash for personal expenses creates the perception of unethical relationships and behavior.

Laurie writes:

I support this bill as it is a good beginning to start reforming the use of campaign contributions in Virginia which is long over due. Campaign contributions should be used for campaign activity only.

Brandon Crum writes:

We all know why it failed. Lobbyists paying off to fail it