Press release: January 21, 2020

BREAKING: Senate Committee Votes “No” on Public Utility Money Ban



Cassady Craighill, Clean Virginia Communications Director

[email protected], 828-817-3328

January 21, 2020 

BREAKING: Senate Committee Votes “No” on Public Utility Money Ban 

In rebuke to 2019 election mandate, 10 Senators voted against curbing political spending from utility monopolies 

Richmond — In a 10-5 vote today, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee failed to pass the Public Utility Campaign Contributions Ban, SB 25, introduced by Senator Chap Petersen and co-patroned by Senator John Bell and Senator Jennifer Boysko. In response, Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore said, 

“Every Senator that voted to allow Dominion Energy and other utility monopolies’ money into Virginia politics voted to weaken public trust in Virginia’s government. Passing this bill in the Senate would have sent a strong message that the General Assembly is finally ready to prioritize people over monopoly profit. Sadly, these Senators, who collectively have taken at least $413,166 from Dominion, let down their constituents. Every time one of Dominion’s captive customers turns on their lights, they are unwittingly subsidizing the corporation’s political influence. We have seen over the past decade how that political influence has been directly detrimental to those same customers’ interests in terms of higher bills, billions in overcharges and environmental degradation.”

“It is now up to the House of Delegates to protect the democratic process in Virginia from legalized monopoly corruption. Every flipped seat in 2019’s General Assembly elections went to a candidate with a principled stance against accepting campaign contributions from Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power Company. We hope all Delegates listen to their constituents and vote ‘yes’ for the Public Utility Campaign Contributions Ban.”

The final Senate Privileges and Elections committee vote tally is as follows: 

Deeds (Chair ): Y

Howell: N 

Vogel: N

Reeves: N 

Ebbin: Y 

Chafin: N 

Ruff: N

Spruill: N 

Peake: N

McDougle: N 

Surovell: N

Mason: N

McClellan: Y 

Boysko: Y

Bell: Y 

The Privileges and Elections Campaign Finance Subcommittee in the House of Delegates is expected to hear the companion version of this bill, HB 111, introduced by Del. Joshua Cole (D-Fredericksburg), later this week.