Monday, February 28, 2005

Legislation Update

News on legislative fronts.

Voters Guides: SB187, sponsored by Sens. Ira Silverstein and Dave Sullivan, advanced to the Senate Floor from the Local Government Committee. The measure would require the State Board of Elections to post an on-line voters guide on its website, including information about candidates and offices on the ballot, and also balloting procedures.

Supreme Court Campaign Reform: Sens. Kwame Raoul and Kirk Dillard have filed SB 1955, to reform the way supreme court races are financed. This bill is identical to legislation that passed the Senate in 2003, and to HB 671 (Delgado), filed earlier this year. The bill would create a clean money/public financing option for high court candidates to let them opt out of the donor-litigant trap that judicial elections often create.

Campaign Contributions: Sen. Rick Winkle has filed a couple of contribution bills. SB 1641 addresses political giving by state contractors, much like the previously-filed SB 39 (Sen. Miguel Delvalle), which was endorsed by four of the six statewide officers. Sen. Winkle also filed SB 1939, to ban giving by casino and horsetrack interests.

And that’s all in the Senate. Their filing deadline was last Friday. Today is the filing deadline in the House; we’ll watch to see what crops up there.

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