The Idaho Senate approved legislation Thursday that would allow political candidates and lobbyists file their financial reports online. Under current Sunshine laws, candidates for state office can only send reports disclosing campaign contributions and expenses to the secretary of state by mail or fax. Reports from lobbyists include their expenses as well as a list of the legislation they lobby on, and which lawmakers they spend more than $75 in lobbying expenses on.
Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, said adding electronic filing will streamline the filing process. “It makes it easier both for you and for the staff and helps avoid errors,” he said. “It makes the process a bit cleaner.” The House voted in favor of the plan 65-0 on Feb. 3, which now heads to the governor's desk
The secretary of state's website includes searchable databases of candidate and lobbyist disclosure forms, as well as printable forms for candidates and lobbyists to complete. Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said the switch to electronic filing won't necessarily save the state any money, and there aren't any proposals on the table to make electronic filing mandatory.
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