Thursday, February 12, 2009

Campaign-reporting bill moving for another try

A bill to require candidates for statewide office to file campaign finance reports more frequently before an election, and to file them electronically, has passed out of a Senate committee. It is expected to be passed quickly by the full Senate. Similar or identical measures passed the Senate in 2007 and 2008 but failed to receive a vote on the House floor.

Senate Bill 62 would require statewide candidates to file a financial report of their campaign receipts and expenses 60 days before an election in addition to the reports currently mandated 32 days and 15 days before an election.

Secretary of State Trey Grayson noted in a release that Kentucky has been downgraded again by the Campaign Disclosure Project in its ranking of states with the best campaign finance filings. The release said Kentucky placed in the top 10 in the ranking as recently as 2004 but has fallen to 21st place because it does not require electronic reporting.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, would also relieve broadcasters of a requirement to file reports during gubernatorial campaigns, a step the Kentucky Broadcasters Association has sought for many years. Gary White, president and CEO of KBA, explained the provision was designed to enable the Registry of Election Finance to verify campaign spending reports of candidates who accepted public financing. That law has since been repealed. For a full text of the bill, go to

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