Today (12-13), Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, comments about the recent withdrawal of his sponsored legislation, Senate Bill 576.
“On Dec. 2, I prefiled Senate Bill 576 regarding ethics and campaign finance reform. One section dealt with a prohibition on schools using public funds to campaign for or against issues or candidates. Unfortunately, a drafting error in the first sentence of the bill makes it unclear. As is evident in the second sentence, and in the summary of the bill posted online, the intent was to ban the use of “public” funds for campaigning.
As a member of the military, I have fought for every American’s rights. That includes the right of free speech and the right to participate in the political process. My mother and several others in my family were teachers, and I would not ever consider inhibiting their right to speak out or campaign. I regret that the error gave some that impression.
Rather than wait for an opportunity to fix the drafting error in committee, I have decided to withdraw SB 576. In return, I will file another Senate bill, which will put public school districts and public institutions of higher learning under the same statute as political subdivisions. They will be restricted from using public funds to advocate support or oppose any ballot measure or candidate.
I think most people would agree that taxpayer dollars should not be used to campaign.”