NEWBURYPORT — State Sen. Diana DiZoglio saw her first Senate bill become law this week, a provision that she said will require more transparency from people running for office.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed An Act Relative to Campaign Finance, which was cosponsored by state Sens. Patrick M. O’Connor, R-Weymouth and Edward J. Kennedy, D-Lowell, into law on Wednesday.
The law will require all legislative and mayoral candidates to report their campaign finances on a monthly basis to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
“This also requires that the candidate’s bank report to OCPF on a monthly basis as well,” DiZoglio said. “This makes for greater transparency so that community members can more quickly view any particular candidate’s fundraising activities. They can see who is donating to them and where they are spending their campaign contributions.”
The law also requires OCPF to make the information available to the public on a quarterly basis.
“I am incredibly humbled and very grateful for to my colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives for working collaboratively and quickly to be able to get this done before the session’s end during my first year in office,” DiZoglio said.
“This is my first stand-alone bill that made its way through the entire committee process in both chambers to land on the governor’s desk,” she said.
The Methuen Democrat began her state legislative career as a state representative in 2012.
“It’s pretty ironic,” DiZoglio said. “The first bill I passed as a state representative was a campaign finance reform bill that required that candidates for local office file their reports with (OCPF) in a timely fashion in order to be on the ballot.”
OCPF is an independent state agency that administers Massachusetts’ campaign finance laws and directs candidates for public office to submit to campaign finance reporting requirements.
State law requires many municipal candidates report their finances but some candidates in municipalities with a population under 65,000 and some mayoral candidates have been exempt.
“This was a compromise bill between the House and the Senate and I do prefer the Senate version of the bill which required that reporting on a monthly basis,” DiZoglio said. “But this is still much more transparent and creates more accountability than the current system which only essentially requires that we file a couple of times a year, generally right before the primary or the general election.
“This leaves little time for people to check in and see if there has been any activity in a particular candidate’s campaign finance accounts. We really can do better and that is why I am excited about this legislation,” she said.
DiZoglio thanked Senate President Karen Spilka, who she said helped to ensure that the bill “made it to the forefront of the conversation in a timely matter.”
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.