- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on campaign finance changes proposed in Mississippi (all times local):

Noon

The Mississippi House may have killed a bill that would have restricted personal use of campaign money on a voice vote - with no record of how individual members voted.

Tuesday’s vote on House Bill 797 followed a debate in which a number of longtime House members complained about proposed restrictions, including ending the ability to take money for personal use to repay undocumented campaign expenses.

The campaign finance changes were attached to a broader rewrite of state election law. The bill could return in modified form in the closing days of the Legislature.

The proposal came after The Associated Press and The Clarion-Ledger questioned campaign spending in recent reports, including officials who took leftover money from accounts on retirement, or spent it on things like cars, clothing and personal travel.

3:30 a.m.

Mississippi lawmakers are on track to impose rules that for the first time limit officials’ ability to pocket campaign money for personal use.

House and Senate negotiators filed a conference report Monday on House Bill 797, striking a middle ground between stricter rules proposed by the Senate and the House’s proposal to only study the issue. The proposal comes after The Associated Press and The Clarion-Ledger questioned campaign spending in recent reports.

The agreement, if approved by both chambers and signed by Gov. Phil Bryant, would say officials could no longer take leftover money from their campaign accounts at the end of their political careers. The measure would also ban spending on clothing and personal travel.

The new rules would only apply to funds raised after Jan. 1, 2017.

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