Senate to Set Special Session in Motion

Email date: 2/8/08

The state Senate is set to start acting on campaign finance reform as a Senate committee will hold a public hearing next Tuesday, February 12 on special session legislation.

The Senate Committee on Campaign Finance Reform, Rural Issues and Information Technology is scheduled to take public testimony on December 2007 Special Session Senate Bill 1 at 11 a.m. in room 411 South in the Capitol. The bill combines the features of two WDC-backed reform plans - the Ellis-Erpenbach bill (SB 12) and the Impartial Justice bill (SB 171) - and incorporates a new approach to disclosure of special interest-sponsored electioneering masquerading as "issue advocacy" that takes into account the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter last June.

Testimony also will be taken at Tuesday’s hearing on three other bills, all of which are part of Special Session Senate Bill 1, including Senate Bill 12. Also receiving consideration as separate legislation are Senate Bill 25, which bans campaign fundraising during the state budget process, and Senate Bill 463 requiring full disclosure of special interest electioneering. SB 463 is a rewrite of Senate Bill 77 which was passed by the Senate last May, before the U.S. Supreme Court decision was handed down in Wisconsin Right to Life’s case challenging the federal McCain-Feingold campaign reform law. New language accounting for that ruling has been incorporated into SB 463 and this same language is included in Special Session SB 1.

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