Inslee signs campaign finance bill

The legislation aims to make clearer for filers how to follow reporting rules and avoid mistakes.

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday signed a new law transforming how Washington administers and enforces its campaign finance laws.

The legislation, House Bill 2938, aims to make clearer for filers how to follow reporting rules and avoid mistakes that can incite a complaint against them.

Under the new law, every complaint must first be filed with the Public Disclosure Commission. Staff will have greater ability to deal with minor errors and technical corrections, and authority to refer large and complex cases to Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Ferguson asked Inslee to veto the bill because it eliminates his ability to independently file complaints against suspected violators.

Inslee instead encouraged the commission to adopt rules to allow for expedited referrals to the attorney general.

The new law takes effect in June.

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