UPDATE: Walker signs bill allowing earlier donations

UPDATED Thursday, March 27, 2014 --- 12:31 p.m

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker has quietly signed into law a bill that lets lobbyists to start making campaign donations to candidates for office seven weeks earlier than previously allowed.

The bill was among 30 that Walker signed privately on Thursday morning in Milwaukee.

The new law allows lobbyists to start making personal donations the day candidates can circulate petitions for office, which is April 15. Under previous law they couldn't make any donations until June 1.

State law continues to bar lobbyists from giving campaign donations to members of the Legislature while it is still in session.

The bill passed the Legislature with unanimous Democratic opposition.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, March 21, 2014 --- 11:32 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Lobbyists could start making campaign donations to candidates for office seven weeks earlier than current law allows under a bill that has passed the state Assembly.

The bill approved early Friday morning on a 54-37 vote would allow lobbyists to start making personal donations the day candidates can circulate petitions for office, which is April 15. Under current law they can't make any donations until June 1.

State law would continue to bar lobbyists from giving campaign donations to members of the Legislature while it is still in session.

The Senate narrowly passed the bill 17-16 earlier this month. It now heads to Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 12, 2014 --- 11:02 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Republican-controlled state Senate has passed a bill that would allow lobbyists to start giving campaign donations seven weeks earlier than current law allows.

The bill passed Wednesday would allow lobbyists to start making personal donations the day candidates can circulate petitions for office, which is April 15. Under current law they can't make any donations until June 1.

However, state law would continue to bar lobbyists from giving campaign donations to members of the Legislature while it is still in session.

Republican supporters say the change is needed because partisan primaries have been moved up from September to August. But Democratic opponents say it will only feed into the view that politicians are beholden to lobbyists.

The bill passed 17-16, with Republican Sen. Dale Schultz joining Democrats against it.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 11, 2014 --- 10:00 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Lobbyists would be able to start giving money to candidate for office six weeks earlier under a bill before the state Senate.

The Republican-sponsored bill up for a vote Tuesday would allow lobbyists to start giving donations to candidates for office starting on April 15 in election years. Under current law they can't make any donations until June 1.

Supporters say the change is needed because partisan primaries have been moved up from September to August. But opponents are concerned about increasing the role of money in politics as lobbyists could give donations to state lawmakers before the legislative session is over.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 --- 11:36 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Senate committee has voted to expand the amount of time lobbyists can give personal donations to candidates running for office in Wisconsin.

The Senate Elections Committee voted 3-2 on Thursday to pass a bill that allows lobbyists to begin giving donations to candidates on April 15. Current law doesn't allow donations to begin until June.

Republicans who support the change say it's needed to correspond with new election deadlines tied to the earlier August primary date. April 15 is the day candidates can begin circulating petitions to get on the ballot.

The committee removed a portion of the bill that would have allowed lobbyists to pass along donations from others at any time of the year, rather than after June 1.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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