Financial disclosure bill on hold for a yearby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Supporters of a bill that would require constitutional officers, state lawmakers and other public officials to disclose more about their sources of income may have to wait another year.
House Elections Committee Chairman Steve Simon initially said he wanted to pass something this year but later said he will not hold a hearing on the bill because he thought it needs more work.
"I am committed to doing something and doing something significant," Simon said. "I would have liked to have done it this year, but it became clear that a lot of stakeholders and a lot of public groups want to weigh in on this. If I have anything to say about it, we will do something as soon as possible; that will probably be next year... But I want to do something as significant and far-reaching as we can."
Simon added: "It's not a punt. It's not a deflection. It's a reflection of how many people may want to weigh in on new and potentially big provisions."
Several lawmakers and the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board have pushed for greater disclosure laws. An investigation by MPR News earlier this year found that in many cases the disclosure forms filed by elected officials provided little if any meaningful information about the sources of their outside income.