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Committee passes bill curbing Arizona elections commission's power

PHOENIX -- An Arizona House committee has approved a bill that would remove authority from the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission to investigate possible campaign contribution violations by candidates who do not participate in the program.

The Senate-approved bill would allow only the Secretary of State and state Attorney General to investigate.

The Arizona House Committee on Judiciary approved the Senate Bill 1344 with a 4-2 vote Wednesday.

Supporters said state statute does not grant the commission authority to investigate candidates suspected of campaign contribution violations but who do not receive funding through the Citizens Clean Elections Act.

The commission said the act granted them authority. The act allowed candidates to receive full funding for their campaigns if they declined private donations and received a number of $5 donations.

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