ACLU-PA Position: Supports
SB 383 would prohibit the use of pre-checked donation boxes to solicit recurring campaign contributions from donors without their consent.
Under current law, political candidates and committees are allowed to engage in deceptive fundraising practices, purposely obscuring a default feature of solicitations that automatically enrolls individuals into recurring donation programs. Instead of prompting supporters to choose either one-time or recurring donations, the option to provide recurring donations is pre-selected for them. Individuals who intend to provide a single donation, but erroneously overlook the fine print of the pre-checked recurring donation box, are alarmed to find additional donation amounts are being withdrawn from their bank accounts on a regular schedule, often monthly or weekly.
SB 383 is a commonsense way to limit the ability of campaigns to default to recurring online donations, a practice that routinely takes advantage of older donors and first-time donors who are unfamiliar with navigating campaign fundraising platforms. It would instead require campaigns to obtain donors’ express agreement for the payment of recurring political donations.
Check the bill's status here.