Senate Bill 12
February 28, 2008
After disagreements over key elements of reform legislation led to a falling out between them, Senators Mike Ellis and Jon Erpenbach have worked out their differences and reunited around a bipartisan comprehensive campaign finance reform plan introduced as 2007 Senate Bill 12. The bill number is the same as the 2003 proposal authored by Ellis that was supported by the Democracy Campaign and other reform groups. By once again requiring full disclosure of special interest campaign ads, reestablishing the state’s prohibition on corporate campaign contributions and creating a guaranteed funding source for the public grants candidates would be eligible to receive if they agree to limit their campaign spending, SB 12 returns to the original intent of the 2003 reform bill. It addresses the primary concerns WDC had with last session’s 2005 Senate Bill 46 (see WDC testimony on 2005 SB 46).
SB 12 was introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Campaign Finance Reform, Rural Issues and Information Technology on January 24, 2007. The committee held a public hearing on the bill February 12, 2008 (WDC’s testimony). The committee amended SB 12 to parallel Special Session Senate Bill 1 and approved it on a 3-1 vote on February 28, 2008.