Bill requiring payment of penalties before candidacy advanced

The resolution of civil sanctions would be required of candidates for public office under a bill advanced by lawmakers Feb. 23.

<a href='' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Carol Blood'>Sen. Carol Blood</a>
Sen. Carol Blood

Under LB85, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Carol Blood, any person with outstanding late filing fees or civil penalties issued by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission (NADC) would be prohibited from filing for election to public office.

Blood said if LB85 were to pass, the NADC finally would have some authority when it comes to collecting these fines and holding public officials to a higher standard.

“Elected officials’ salaries are paid by the public and these jobs place us in a position of trust,” she said. “[LB85] would continue to foster a unified moral and ethical culture while expressing that certain actions or inactions have consequences.”

Under a Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee amendment, adopted 39-0, only civil penalties would preclude a person from filing for election to public office. Additionally, a candidate could file for office with outstanding civil penalties if they have appealed the penalty and filed a surety bond in favor of the state, pending the appeal.

The amendment includes a provision that would require candidates to certify on the filing form that they have complied with the civil penalty provisions contained within LB85, as amended.

Finally, the NADC would be required to produce a list of all individuals with outstanding civil penalties to election filing officers prior to Dec. 1 each year, with monthly updates through March 1 prior to a statewide primary election. Filing officers also could request additional updates to the list as needed.

Senators advanced the bill to select file on a 40-0 vote.

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