Currencies

Louisiana passes bill studying issues on digital currency campaign donations

The Louisiana state House of Representatives has passed a resolution to study issues surrounding the acceptance of campaign contributions in digital currency. The bill, titled House Resolution 180 (HR 180), requires the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure to undertake the study. 

According to the bill proposed by State Rep. Mark Wright (R-Covington), the committee is to undertake the study and make its recommendations to the House Committee on House and Governmental Affairs at least 60 days before the commencement of the 2023 regular session.

“To urge and request the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure to study issues surrounding the acceptance of campaign contributions in the form of crypto-currency and to report its findings, including any recommended legislation, to the House Committee on House and Governmental Affairs not later than sixty days before the 2023 Regular Session,” the bill reads.

Wright noted several justifications for carrying out the study, including the Federal Election Committee (FEC) opinion from 2014 that states that digital currencies can be accepted as campaign donations.

For donations in digital currencies, the FEC only requires that it be reported as an in-kind contribution. The contribution is also to be valued based on the market price of Bitcoin at the time it was made.

Additionally, Wright pointed out that more than 17 states in the country have enacted resolutions to study and regulate the use of digital currencies. And that there has been increased interest in making donations in digital currencies across the state.

Louisiana to deploy digital currencies beyond campaign donations

The passed resolution is not the only digital currency bill the state is considering. Another bill proposed by Wright, House Concurrent Resolution 103, will also see the House set up a committee to study the prospect of accepting digital currencies for payments.

The Cash Management Review Board is to set up the committee for the study. It will also study prospects for using blockchain technology in the state per a report by the Daily Advertiser, a local news outlet.

Legislation passed in the state back in 2020 already allowed the state’s Office of Financial Institutions (OFI) to issue licenses to digital assets firms.

Meanwhile, the state’s interest in digital currency campaign donations is coming at a time when the industry has been upping its lobby efforts. CNBC reports that the industry has poured in more than $30 million to campaigns since the start of the 2020 election cycle.

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