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Eye On Boise

Panel unanimously backs first-ever financial disclosure requirement for Idaho political candidates

The Legislature’s campaign finance reform working group has voted unanimously in favor of legislation proposed by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, to impose the state’s first-ever personal financial disclosure requirements on all candidates for elective office at the state, legislative, county or city level.

The proposal, patterned after Utah’s law, simply requires candidates to disclose their primary employer and occupation or job title; all entities they own or for which they’re an officer; each entity that has paid them $5,000 or more in income in the past year; each entity in which they own stocks or bonds valued at more than $5,000, unless they’re managed by a third party; any boards on which they serve; real property they own that could create a conflict of interest; and their spouse’s name, occupation and employer.

It wouldn’t require them to disclose the amount of their income or assets.

Under questioning from the other committee members, Loertscher said, “It does not require that candidates or sitting legislators or officers disclose what their income is. In fact, it’s a deliberate attempt not to do that. … This stays completely away from that.”

Idaho currently is one of just two states with no personal financial disclosure requirements for state legislators or any other elected or appointed officials.

The panel’s unanimous vote recommends that the full Legislature pass the bill; you can read it here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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