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Lawmakers down to wire on ‘Incumbent Protection Act’

Lawmakers down to wire on 'Incumbent Protection Act'
March 31, 2015 --

UPDATE: Early this afternoon, the House Rules Committee amended the Senate bill (SB127) to delete any changes in early-voting procedures. The House then passed the amended bill on a 167-7 vote. The Senate stripped this language from a similar last week and now must decide whether to stand firm or let the House have its way. After dinner tonight, senators voted to stand firm. 

March 31, 2015 — Once again, Georgia enters the final week of a legislative session with the prospects for an ethics bill up in the air.

The Georgia House and Senate have two business days left – today and Thursday – to act on a bill that would allow waivers of late campaign disclosure filing fees for thousands of local candidates.

Both chambers have passed similar versions of the bill. Twice, though, the House has tacked on a controversial amendment that could help re-elect legislators facing primary challenges from within their own party — earning it the nickname “the Legislative Incumbent Protection Act.”

Bills filed to excuse candidates’ late filing fees

February 19, 2015 --

Feb. 19, 2015 — Up to four years of penalties for filing late campaign disclosures could be excused under bills filed this week in the Georgia Legislature.

A 2010 law required candidates for city and county offices to file campaign finance reports online with the state rather than locally. Many candidates pushed back, and the mandate was later rescinded.

Now, citing faults and malfunctions of the state ethics commission’s online filing system, two legislators are sponsoring bills to waive the late fees — $125 and up — imposed on those local candidates.