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Philanthropy Politics

Virginia Governor Glenn Younkin Signs Donor Non-Disclosure Bill into Law

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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has signed into law a bill that protects the private information of individuals who support charities and other nonprofit organizations.

HB 970 states that public agencies cannot request personal donor information from nonprofits or disclose personal information without the written permission of every individual who is identifiable from the potential release of the personal information, including members, supporters of, volunteers for, or donors to an organization.

The bill exempts the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act of 2006 from the requirements.

The law will take effect in July. 

“Every American should be free to peacefully support causes they believe in without fear of harassment or intimidation,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Zack Pruitt. 

Pruitt cited last year’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Thomas More Law Center v. Bonta, which affirmed that the right to “free association” promised in the First Amendment includes the right to privacy in financial giving. 

“We thank Governor Youngkin and the Virginia General Assembly for safeguarding the ability of Virginians to give freely and privately without unnecessary government interference,” he said. 

Several other states, including Oklahoma, West Virginia, Utah, Arkansas, Iowa, South Dakota, and Tennessee also have similar donor non-disclosure laws. 

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Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.