Without comment, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has signed into law HB 556, which limits personal use of campaign contributions. The measure, which passed both houses unanimously, prohibits candidates or office-holders from using the money for food, clothing, rent, country club memberships, or other expenses that they’d have whether or not they were campaigning or in office. It was prompted in part by Kempthorne’s own frequent use of campaign funds for lunches near the capitol. The measure was one of 19 bills Kempthorne signed into law today, all of which passed with little controversy. One was HB 415, another campaign finance reform bill, which bans contributors from using multiple subsidiary organizations to get around contribution limits. Most of the others dealt with insurance issues, but they also included the wine shipment bill, HB 454, and the “55 Alive” bill, HB 462, which lets insurers offer discounts to 55-year-old drivers who take a safety course, rather than just those 65 or older.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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