House Bill 4130 creates a public campaign finance program for the 2012 election cycle which would be funded through attorney fees, special court fees and funds from the purchasing card administration fund of the West Virginia Auditor’s Office.
The measure was one of several recommendations from the Independent Commission on Judicial Reform. The commission was formed by Gov. Joe Manchin to find ways to improve the state’s court system. Read the full commission report here.
A candidate would need to collect at least $500 qualifying contributions with at least 10 percent coming from each congressional district and raise a minimum of $35,000 or maximum of $50,000. Qualifying contributions must come from a West Virginian voter and can be from $1 to $100. If candidates successfully complete these requirements a committee would determine whether they receive public funds. There are penalties for dropping out of the race without permission or returning the public funds.