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State Sen. Ronald L. Rice. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe.

Rice supports dark money transparency bill

Essex Democrat wants Senate to fast-track his own legislation

By David Wildstein, January 28 2019 9:39 am

State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark) will support legislation that would require “dark money” independent groups to disclose their major donors, but he also wants the Senate to consider his own bills that would increase transparency among business entities and health care consultants and carriers.

Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Palmyra) would require independent organizations that spend more than $3,000 on a political campaign or advocating a position on a bill or regulation to disclose all donors who contribute more than $10,000.  The bill would also require disclosure of how the money was spent.

“We have to keep dark money out of politics, it’s plain and simple. Dark money allows for the wealthy and powerful to control our political system while the poor are devoid of any opinion and representation,” Rice said.  “Transparency is one of the most important characteristics we need in politics.

Rice said his two bills, S-2228 and S-3199, were introduced last year and have not moved in the Senate.

“Like in politics, we put a lot of trust in businesses and in health care, we expect them to be transparent with consumers. Of course, this isn’t always the case. With the push for greater transparency for financial disclosures,” Rice said.  “I urge the Senate President to fast track my two pieces of legislation so they can join Senator Singleton’s bill in order to promote a fairer society.”

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