SALT LAKE CITY -- Lawmakers have voted down new restrictions on how candidates use campaign funds, reasoning the state shouldn't be dictating how municipalities handle rules impacting local races.
The House voted 45-29 Tuesday to defeat HR 17, sponsored by Rep. Keith Grover, R-Provo, which would have limited the ability of candidates to use campaign contributions for personal expenses. The bill would have required a municipality or county to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the use of campaign funds for personal expenditures by local candidates.
Two Top of Davis lawmakers were among the vocal opponents of the bill. Rep. Jim Nielsen, R-Bountiful, said he applauds an effort to ensure that campaign funds are properly used, but he didn't like the one-proposal-fits-all solutions it would impose on local governments.
"I think local officials should make those decisions," Nielsen said.
Rep. Roger Barrus, R-Centerville, echoed Nielsen's feelings and suggested the state doesn't need to meddle in the affairs of communities.
"If this were a resolution I could vote for it. This isn't encouragement, this is a mandate," Barrus said.