Rep. Jeff Alltus proposed legislation Wednesday that would tighten restrictions in the law regarding how public funds are spent during elections.
If the bill passes, it would set legal and ethical guidelines for the use of public funds in promoting candidates or ballot measures. It also would set up penalties for those who break those guidelines.
Alltus said the legislation was prompted in part by public agencies’ opposition to the One Percent Initiative last fall.
“The whole thing is wrong,” said Alltus, a Hayden Republican. “Many people felt like they were getting ripped off because their tax dollars are being used against them.”
The bill would make it illegal to use public funds to influence the voting public. Any information dealing with elections must be portrayed in a fair, neutral manner.
Breaking the guidelines set out by this law would be considered misuse of public money under Idaho law. The penalty for breaking the law? Repayment of all misused funds, and a $50 fine.
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