Mississippi lawmakers are looking into new campaign finance laws that would govern how candidates for political office spend money. Those lawmakers want to methodically study the process.
When the Senate passed S.B. 2374 a few weeks ago, the bill required political candidates to itemize credit card expenses.
Lawmakers in the House did away with that language yesterday, in order to create a study committee to determine, if new campaign finance laws are needed and what they should look like. Elections Committee Chairman Bill Denny, a Republican from Jackson, says drafting campaign finance reform takes time.
“I want to know exactly what it is that we’re going to do and do it right,” says Denny. “I don’t want to take a bill that we have as an example and just start adding piece by piece, piecemeal, onto a campaign finance reform that we don’t really know how it’s affect, who’s going to run it, who’s going to police it, ho we’re going to do it. To me, that needs to be looked into and looked into properly.”
The House approved the measure by a vote of 91-25. However, some lawmakers like Democrat Adrienne Wooten of Jackson believes there is no need for a study committee.
“I don’t understand why we have to have a study committee,” says Wooten. “We have an attorney general’s office, whomever that you want to police this. You got the auditor’s office. You got the attorney general’s office. Now keep in mind, you all just took a vote on the airport bill. We didn’t need no study committee on that. Why do we need a study committee on this?”
The Senate is also considering a set of campaign finance laws, which they will likely take up in the coming days.