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West Virginia as Corporate Vanguard

The West Virginia House passed HR4646, a bill that would require prior shareholder consent in order for a corporation to spend money on campaigns.

Yesterday, in response to Citizens United v. FEC, (the Supreme Court case which allows unlimited corporate independent expenditures directly from the corporate treasury), the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill (HR4646) that would require prior shareholder consent to corporate political spending by West Virginia corporations. This follows the model suggested by the Brennan Center in its report, Corporate Campaign Spending: Giving Shareholders A Voice, which urges Congress to change the U.S. securities laws to give shareholders
(1) the opportunity consent to and
(2) notice of corporate political spending.

West Virginia, like every other state, has full authority to improve its corporate governance requirements for its corporations. The bill now goes to the West Virginia Senate for consideration.