During Thursday’s flurry of General Assembly maneuvering before a midnight deadline, several under-reported events occurred in the last couple of hours. Consider the death of Senate Bill 127.
S.B. 127 offered avenues for incumbent candidates who file late campaign finance disclosures to seek a waiver of the resulting fines. It also required national issue advocacy organizations to file disclosures regarding how they spent their funds, and where they got said funds. This provision was loudly opposed by almost 20 conservative groups and naturally raised First Amendment concerns. Furthermore, a provision was later inserted by Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, to trim the voting period from 21 to 12 days before an election day (with only four hours for voting on just one Sunday).
The House passed SB 127 with the campaign finance, organization disclosures and early-voting language. But when it ended up back in the Senate, legislators in that chamber refused to accept it.
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