Thursday, March 19, 2009

Electronic campaign filing bill may make it yet

A bill that would require statewide candidates to file campaign finance reports electronically is "not completely dead," and proponents are still hoping the House will take it up during the final two days of the legislative session.

Assistant Secretary of State Les Fugate told the Kentucky Open Government Blog that while House leaders had indicated they had no problem with Senate Bill 62, they had first told the Senate that there were too many amendments attached to get the bill voted on this session. But Fugate said the Senate then stripped off the amendments and sent it back as House Bill 325, so that all that it needs is House concurrence.

"We still have hope," Fugate said. Legislators will reconvene on March 26 for two days to complete their work for this session. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said this week that the House might open the agenda to include concurrence with Senate amendments to House bills.

The Lexington Herald-Leader, in an editorial Thursday, called for passage of the bill. "It's time to do better," the paper said. It noted that, except for the lack of electronic filing, Kentucky had been given "decent marks" by the Campaign Disclosure Project, which monitors and grades state governments on transparency. Similar bills have been passed both House and Senate in previous years, but not in the same session.

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