Family matters in SB 163

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SB 163, Candidate Filing Disclosure Amendments, proposes allowing candidates for public office to provide another address or phone number where they may be contacted other than the candidate’s residential address. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jake Anderegg, would classify residential addresses as protected records to prevent harm from individuals who would seek to verbally or physically harass candidates and/or their families at their home.

Candidates would still be required to submit their home address to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, however, to verify the candidate resides in the district they’re running to represent.

During afternoon floor time on Feb. 26, Sen. Anderegg shared his testimony of an occurrence of an individual who had disagreed with how the Senator had voted on a particular issue. This individual sought out the Senator’s home and showed up to express his displeasure while the Senator was away; his 8-year-old daughter was the one who answered the door.

“Should my family’s safety be at risk as a condition of me serving in the legislature?” Anderegg asked. “I can handle it; my family shouldn’t have to.”

Sen. Deidre Henderson shared a similar story of thousands of fliers being passed out containing her home address while her daughters were home alone, and she feared for her daughters’ safety.

The Senators who rose in support of the bill agreed while there is a constitutional mandate and a personal duty to be available for constituents, their families shouldn’t need to be concerned for their security.

The bill passed both the House and Senate, and was sent to the governor for his consideration.

You can read or check out audio/video of the bill here.