FRANKFORT — Candidates for statewide office would have to file their campaign finance reports electronically beginning in 2015 under a bill that was approved Wednesday by a Senate committee.
House Bill 90, sponsored by Rep. Mike Cherry, D-Prince ton, has the strong support of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, which oversees campaign finance reports. The bill now goes to the Senate, its last legislative hurdle. If approved there, it would be sent to Gov. Steve Beshear for his signature or veto.
Emily Dennis, the registry's general counsel, said she hoped the measure would be a model to spur future legislation that would require all candidates in the state to file their reports electronically.
She said statewide candidates seem to file electronically on a voluntary basis more often than candidates for local offices.
Senate State and Local Government Chairman Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he always has filed his reports electronically "to make them available to the public more easily."
But Sen. Dan Seum, R-Louisville, said he considers the measure "kind of a rich man's law."
He also said he was "somewhat paranoid" in that campaign treasurers might be prone to more errors by filing electronically.
But registry board chairman Craig C. Dilger said electronic filing helps filers be more compliant with campaign finance laws by catching errors more quickly.
The committee vote on the bill was 6-0, with Seum passing.
Also Wednesday, the Senate panel unanimously approved a bill that would repeal antiquated state laws dealing with pensions for Confederate soldiers in the Civil War.
The sponsor of HB 85, Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, said it has been more than 50 years since anyone drew a pension from the fund.
Simple mathematics, he said, shows that no one is alive to claim a pension from the fund. He also said it no longer has any money.