Lee-Akaka Bipartisan Hatch Act Reform Passes Senate

December 3, 2012

WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Lee’s bipartisan reform that protects the rights of states to determine for themselves how to handle partisan political activity by state and local employees recently passed in the Senate.  The bill, S. 2170 The Hatch Act Modernization Act, still prohibits inappropriate political action, but fixes the law so that state and local employees who work for agencies which receive partial federal funding are not barred from running in a partisan election.  

“The law was meant to prevent federal employees from engaging in partisan politics,” said Senator Lee.  “Unfortunately, it has been used to prevent state and local employees whose organizations may receive some federal funding from running for elected office.  States should be allowed to make their own laws with regard to the political activity of state and local employees and not have the policy dictated to them by Washington. I am pleased that we were able to come to a bipartisan solution on this issue and encourage my colleagues in the House to do the same."

Two Democratic senators, Daniel Akaka (HI) and Carl Levin (MI), and one Independent, Joe Lieberman (CT), have cosponsored the bill along with Senator Lee. The bill was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and will be sent to the House of Representatives.