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Alabama removes reporting requirement for municipal candidates who raise, spend under $1,000

Candidates running for office on the local level in Alabama will have one less piece of paperwork to deal with — if they’re not raising or spending big.

A bipartisan act of the Alabama Legislature removed the requirement for municipal candidates to file a Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) report with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office if they do not raise or spend more than $1,000 of campaign funds.

Importantly, candidates must still file their Statement of Economic Interest with the Alabama Ethics Commission within five days of declaring their candidacy.

Sec. Wes Allen and the Alabama League of Municipalities urged state lawmakers to do so, and were pleased by their willingness to remove the “unnecessary burden” from local candidates by passing HB156.

“As Secretary of State, it is my goal to provide guidance to candidates as they navigate the process of running for office in Alabama,” said Allen. “I am proud to have advocated for legislation that lifts an unnecessary burden off of thousands of municipal candidates across small towns in Alabama.”

“I want to thank Representative Chad Robertson for all of his hard work shepherding this bill through both chambers of the Alabama Legislature. Because of his dedicated efforts, thousands of potential municipal candidates in Alabama are better off today than they were yesterday.”

Greg Cochran, executive director of the Alabama League of Municipalities, sent a letter of support to state lawmakers earlier in the session.

“The Alabama League of Municipalities appreciates Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature for passing HB 156, which will simplify the bureaucratic process that often hinders and deters municipal candidates from running for local office,” Cochran said. “We also want to thank Secretary of State Wes Allen and Rep. Chad Robertson for their partnership with this bill and their support of municipalities.”

The law takes effect on June 1, 2024.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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