Campaign finance changes advanced

Senators gave first-round approval April 4 to a bill that would repeal the Campaign Finance Limitation Act.

LB79, as originally introduced by Lincoln Sen. Bill Avery, would repeal the act, recently declared unconstitutional by the Nebraska Supreme Court. Avery said the bill would promote a more open election process.

A Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee amendment, adopted 26-0, replaced the bill.

As amended, LB79 would require the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission to develop, implement and maintain an electronic filing system for campaign statements and other required reports as soon as practicable. It also would add limited liability company or partnership to the list of entities that must establish a separate, segregated political fund in order to receive contributions.

“The best course of action is to provide additional transparency and openness in our current system of [campaign] contributions and expenditures,” Avery said. “By creating an electronic system, the public can see where money is coming from and where it is going.”

Avery introduced an amendment to the committee amendment, adopted 27-0, that would authorize the transfer of all funds in the Campaign Finance Limitation Cash Fund to the Election Administration Cash Fund to pay for the electronic filing system.

Senators advanced the bill to select file on a 27-0 vote.

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