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Senate finance reporting measure going to governor

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, presents Senate Bill 4, a bill relating to electronic reporting of campaign finance reports, in the Senate on Jan. 11, 2019.

FRANKFORT— Legislation that would require all candidates for public office in Kentucky to electronically file their campaign finance reports starting in 2020 has passed the Kentucky General Assembly.

Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, received final passage in the House today by a vote of 68-26. The bill passed the Senate earlier this session on a 34-2 vote.

Current law only requires that candidates for statewide office electronically file – or e-file—their campaign finance reports, according to Senate testimony last month. Those include candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, state auditor, attorney general, secretary of state and agriculture commissioner.

Candidates whose campaigns raise less than $3,000 during a reporting period would be exempt from the new e-filing requirement under SB 4.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, voted against the measure. Marzian said SB 4 would remove language in current law that gives candidates up to five days to file reports with the Registry of Election Finance after the filing deadline.

“I think that is a concern,” said Marzian. “A lot of us use that five-day grace period to make sure that we get our financial statements in, especially if it’s 15-day, 30-day, 60-day (reporting),”

Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville, who presented the bill to the House for a vote, said the change is intended “to give a more accurate reading of the disclosures of the financial reports.”

SB 4 will soon go to the governor for his signature or to otherwise become law.