Washington (June 17, 2004) -- In a 45-13 vote, the House Financial Services Committee advanced legislation that would require companies to report as an expense only employee stock options granted to a company’s chief executive and its next four highest paid employees.

Under the bill, known as the Stock Option Accounting Reform Act and sponsored by Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., small businesses would be exempt from expensing options and newly public companies would be able to delay expensing in the first three years.

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