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No significant fiscal implication to the State.
There may be administrative costs to units of local government; however,
the fiscal impact is not anticipated to be significant.
SB 1437 would clarify that statewide and local candidates and officeholders can use the Texas Ethics Commission's new electronic filing web-based application to file campaign finance reports and personal financial statements. Statewide filers would be required to file personal financial statements electronically and would clarify that a person does not need to submit a notarized affidavit verifying the filer's identity if the electronic password meets security standards.The bill provides that a financial statement filed electronically is considered to be under oath by the individual required to file, so is subject to prosecution under Chapter 37 of the Penal Code, regardless of an affidavit.
We support this legislation under the personal responsibility and individual liberty principles. Due to advancements of technology, candidates can now file financial disclosure forms online. However, under current law, they would need to still have an affidavit notarized. This legislation would exempt electronic filings from requiring a notarized affidavit and replace the verification with a password. We support this legislation to aide those filing proper forms to comply with those requirements more efficiently.
We supported a similar bill in the House this session, HB 3511.