Corporate accountability Bill to Get Senate Vote

In this update: 1. Senate to vote on shareholder consent bill tomorrow 2. What else is on the Senate’s agenda and what’s not 3. Interactive online campaign finance policy tool tests your inner wonk Corporate accountability Bill to Get Senate Vote

Email Date: 4/12/10

In this update:
1. Senate to vote on shareholder consent bill tomorrow
2. What else is on the Senate’s agenda and what’s not
3. Interactive online campaign finance policy tool tests your inner wonk

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Senate to vote on shareholder consent bill tomorrow
The state Senate is scheduled to debate and vote tomorrow on legislation requiring corporations to notify and get permission from their shareholders in order to use their money for election campaigning. The Democracy Campaign supports the legislation and testified in favor of it at a public hearing last month.

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What else is on the Senate’s agenda and what’s not
The Senate will be debating payday lending tomorrow. As was the case with the legislation passed earlier by the Assembly, the Senate measure does not establish any limit on interest rates lenders can charge for cash advances and other kinds of payday loans. As a result, some consumer advocates characterize it as an “industry bill.” The Democracy Campaign issued two reports on campaign donations from payday lenders to state lawmakers, one at the beginning of March and the other in late March.

Also on the Senate’s agenda for tomorrow is a proposed constitutional amendment that would further rein in the governor’s expansive veto authority.

Missing from the list of items the upper house is considering tomorrow is legislation that was unanimously approved by the Assembly holding out-of-state political committees to the same standards of disclosure as committees based in Wisconsin. The Democracy Campaign supports the bill and sent a memo to senators urging them to act on it.

Not only did the Assembly unanimously pass the legislation in February, but it actually was once approved by both houses and signed into law by the governor in 2006 before being removed from the state statutes under most peculiar circumstances. It looks like a new chapter is about to be added to the strange tale of how this law was made and then unmade. The Assembly’s wholehearted endorsement notwithstanding, reenactment can’t be taken for granted. Word is the chair of the Senate committee to which the bill has been sent is under orders not to take action on it.

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Interactive online campaign finance tool tests your inner wonk
In almost every state in the country, Wisconsin included, candidates for public office raise most of their campaign money from an exceedingly small number of wealthy individuals and organizations who make very large donations. But it doesn’t have to be that way, as a new interactive online policy tool developed by the national Campaign Finance Institute illustrates.

The website allows visitors to pick a state, see what kinds of donors are supplying money to campaigns now, and then make choices about how to change that state’s system. The graphs on the page redraw themselves as the user makes choices. To check out Wisconsin’s page, go here.