- Associated Press - Thursday, February 23, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers have given initial approval to a bill that would require candidates for elected or appointed office to pay campaign violation fines.

The Legislature advanced the bill on a 40-0 vote Thursday. It would apply only to campaign violation fines, not late fees or other fines.

The sponsor, Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue, says public officials should be held to a higher ethical standard because their salaries are paid by taxpayers.

The bill could prevent cases like the 2013 legislative appointment of a Bellevue businessman who owed more than $16,000 in unpaid state fines for orchestrating a smear campaign against his opponent when he ran for the seat a decade before. Patrick Shannon withdrew from the appointment a few hours after it was announced.

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