House passes rules on Mississippi campaign cash

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mississippi House members are strongly backing a bill that would restrict how elected officials statewide spend campaign money.

Representatives voted 102-13 Wednesday to pass House Bill 479 , which Speaker Philip Gunn says is aimed at prohibiting officials from spending campaign money for personal use or taking it home when they retire.

Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, and Rep. Vince Mangold, R-Brookhaven, both voted for the measure. 

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The measure now moves to the Senate for more work.

The move comes after 2016 reports by The Associated Press and The Clarion-Ledger showed officials were spending money on clothes, cars and boots, with some withdrawing large sums at retirement.

The bill would bar many such expenditures, although it would allow spending on campaigning and office-holding.

The Mississippi Ethics Commission would be put in charge of enforcement and could fine violators $1,000, plus an amount equal to any misspent money.