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Capitol Briefs: Senate perfects bill restricting use of education funds for campaigning 

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill that would prohibit the use of public funds meant for school districts to be used to affect elections was perfected Monday evening. 

SB 86, sponsored by Sen. Dan Hegeman, would prohibit the contribution of public funds from school districts or their officers to influence elections — either candidates or ballot measures — or from reimbursing those entities for expenses affiliated with campaigns. Violating the act would be punishable as a class four election offense. 

“This bill basically tries to make it very clear that entities should not use public funds during elections,” Hegeman said on the floor Monday evening. 

  • Language included in a substitute from Hegeman would have allowed employees to take political action outside of their official capacity as a school employee. The substitute was withdrawn after a discussion with Sen. Jill Schupp, who spoke in favor of the rest of the bill. 
  • Sen. Karla May offered an amendment to allow no-excuse absentee and early voting but withdrew it in favor of later consideration. 
  • The language is similar to a provision in an elections bill vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson last year due to the number of provisions included in it.