One Miss. lawmaker talks campaign funding - - The News for South Mississippi

Campaign finance bill would change how lawmakers can use funds

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

After taking a close look at the guidelines for statewide candidates, one Mississippi lawmaker thinks there are some gaps.

Representative Hank Zuber (R-District 113) is proposing legislation which would put an end to public officials using campaign donations for their own use or from keeping the funds after they leave office.

"We are one of only maybe a handful of states that still allow politicians to use campaign money on personal expenses," explained Zuber.

You can pull up any statewide elected official's records on the Secretary of State's election page. You'll find the submitted forms with lines for itemized lists. They are asked to include the "purpose" of the expenses on that form.
Currently, they just have to report anything over $200 that they spend or receive. Amounts less than that, they report the grand total but not the details.

"We are public servants. I mean, why should we be able to have a golden parachute just because we're in office?" Zuber said.
He's also proposing there be a protocol set up for what candidates should do with surplus campaign funds if they lose or drop out of a race.
Some of the options he's proposing for the surplus funds include turning it over to a non-profit, political party, another candidate or state Treasury.
The bill has died in committee every year since he introduced it in 2007.
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