The House of Delegates approved a bill Thursday that would allow political candidates to use campaign funds to pay for the cost of attending professional conferences.

The legislation, sponsored by Del. Carolyn J.B. Howard, a Prince George's County Democrat, passed on a vote of 110-27. It now goes to the Senate.

The bill would let incumbent officeholders and candidates use their campaign funds to pay for the travel, lodging, meal and registration costs of conferences focused on policy issues related to the office they hold or are seeking. Candidates now are restricted to spending such money for campaign expenses or publication of a legislative newsletter.

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