Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Degree Level



Political Science


Sebold, Karen

Committee Member/Reader

Dowdle, Andrew

Committee Member/Second Reader

Shields, Christopher

Committee Member/Third Reader

Baranello, Micaela


The growing prominence of Political Action Committees (PACs) calls for the analysis of their impact on state legislatures and the passing of bills. This thesis sought to determine the relationship between PACs and the state legislatures of New York and Illinois as it relates to the passage of statutes that legalized recreational marijuana. This was done by collecting contribution disclosures from the individuals who voted on the bills and finding the aggregate amounts given to a candidate by in-state and out-of-state PACs and non-PACs. Then the data was subjected to a Pearson Correlation analysis. If the Pearson Correlation indicated a certain kind of contributor was significant then it underwent a simple regression analysis. Accurately illustrating the relationship between PAC contributions and policy outcomes allows the furtherance of our understanding of how money as speech can impact American society.


Campaign Finance, Citizens United, PACs