Gov. Bryant signs donor privacy legislation

By Mississippi Center for Public Policy
March 28, 2019

Mississippi Center for Public Policy commends Gov. Phil Bryant for signing legislation that will protect and ensure the privacy of individuals who donate to charitable causes in Mississippi.

“We are very proud that Gov. Bryant has signed into law a piece of legislation that reinforces the American tradition of anonymous speech and the freedom of association to which citizens are entitled,” said Jon Pritchett, President and CEO of Mississippi Center for Public Policy. “Many on the left oppose this bill because they want to know who funds their opposition so they can bring pressure to bear on them and suppress their speech with coercion and harassment. Mississippi has now proudly defended the rights of citizens to support causes about which they care deeply.”

House Bill 1205, authored by Rep. Jerry Turner (R-Baldwyn) and championed by Rep. Mark Baker (R-Brandon), allows a nonprofit to defend itself in court if its confidential donor list is leaked by a rouge government agency or bureaucrat.

“The enemies of free speech and free association are making our political environment toxic by seeking to silence and intimidate anyone who disagrees with them,” said Jameson Taylor, Vice President for Policy for MCPP. “That is why this legislation is so essential and we thank Lt. Governor Reeves and Speaker Gunn for their work to get this important bill to the Governor’s desk.”

Protecting the privacy of those who donate to nonprofits is widely popular across the state with 81 percent of voters, including 91 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents, and 69 percent of Democrats, saying they support a law that protects the personal information of such donors.

Additionally, the polling revealed that 76 percent of Mississippi voters said they would be less likely to give to a charity if they knew their personal information, including the amount of their contribution, would be posted on a government website.

This would have an especially chilling effect in a state like Mississippi, which has a long history of charitable giving.

See statewide polling results here.


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