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JUNEAU - Lawmakers are one step closer to expanding the investigative powers of the state's elections watchdog agency.
On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee passed House Bill 281, which sets the statute of limitations for an investigation on election campaign fraud to five years.
Currently the Alaska Public Offices Commission has one year.
The bill still needs approval from the Senate and will need to go back to the House for a concurring vote.
The Legislature, however, is down to just slightly more than three days before it's scheduled to adjourn.
Rep. Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage, has pushed this bill through several committees, often facing opposition.
The bill picked up momentum after the chief of staff to former Gov. Frank Murkowski pleaded guilty to federal fraud involving fund raising for his former boss.