Senate resolution NO. 75
INTRODUCED BY A. Olsen
By Request of the ****
A resolution of the Senate of the state of montana urging congress to confirm by constitutional amendment the right to prohibit corporate campaign contributions and send the amendment to the states for ratification.
WHEREAS, government of, by, and for the people is a foundational American value; and
WHEREAS, the people of the United States enacted the Constitution of the United States to ensure self-governance and to secure the blessings of liberty; and
WHEREAS, free and fair elections are essential to democracy and effective, representative self-governance; and
WHEREAS, the United States Congress and state legislatures should have the authority to set reasonable limits and conditions on campaign contributions to ensure effective self-governance; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Montana are very concerned about the continued, deepening erosion of our democratic processes by the unlimited, massive expenditures by corporations in our election process and do not accept this attack on our democratic processes; and
WHEREAS, out-of-state corporate money used in election campaigns has had a dramatic effect on Montana's elections and on politics across the nation; and
WHEREAS, regardless of our political leanings and party affiliations, Montanans see that these influences have overwhelmed our citizens' voices in recent campaigns, interfered with Montanans' right to choose our representatives, and are undermining our democracy; and
WHEREAS, Montanans demand that we strengthen our democratic processes here in Montana and across the nation by calling for the reversal of the "Citizens United" ruling's harmful result that corporations' use of money in elections is supposed to be protected in the same way that the free speech of ordinary citizens and persons is protected; and
WHEREAS, Montanans passed Initiative I-166 in 2012 by a 74.9% voter margin, with a majority in every county, which asserted that, "the people of Montana establish that there should be a level playing field in campaign spending, in part by prohibiting corporate campaign contributions and expenditures and by limiting political spending in elections"; and
WHEREAS, Initiative I-166 asserted that the people of Montana regard money as property and not as free speech and regard the rights under the Constitution of the United States as rights belonging to human beings; and
WHEREAS, Initiative I-166 called for the Montana Congressional Delegation to act by proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, Montanans join citizens, organizations, and government entities from all over the country working to ban, by constitutional amendment, corporate contributions to elections and their destructive influence on our state and national politics.
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Senate of the 68th Legislature of the State of Montana urges the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that confirms the authority of government by the people through state and federal law to regulate money in politics, particularly to prohibit corporate campaign contributions regarding a candidate or ballot issue, ensures all citizens have access to the political process by confirming that the rights enumerated in the Constitution of the United States are retained by the people as natural persons, and confirms that money is not equal to free speech.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Congress should send the amendment to the states for ratification.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send a copy of this resolution to the individual members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
Latest Version of SR 75
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