After a two day debate, Wisconsin State Senate approved changes to the state’s election oversight and campaign finance rules.
The legislation will now be sent to the state legislative assembly before heading over to Governor Scott Walker’s desk. The bill is mainly unchanged from when the state assembly first approved last most, with the exception of a few key difference.
Republicans supporting the bill say it is essential to bring the state’s laws in line with recent court rulings and to protect the first amendment rights, free speech. Democrats, on the other hand, allege the proposal will open the door to corruption and increase the influence of money in elections.
Legislators met for several hours on Friday working on the legislation.
The proposals rewrite the state’s campaign finance rules. One lawmaker said that while proposal is not perfect, it does protect freedom of speech.
Republican Senator Jon Cowles joined Democrats in voting against the bill.
Republicans left part of the bill that allows a donor to leave off information regarding their employer. Supporters of the proposal say it will protect businesses from unfair boycotts. However, opponents say it is necessary to know employer information to see which industries are trying to influence politics and policies.
The legislation comes after the U.S. Supreme court case known as Citizens United. The Supreme Court case has opened up a the doors for corporations directly influence politics and policies. The Wisconsin policy is one of many state legislations around the country launched by state legislators who are trying to get a grip of the situation created by the Supreme Court. Many state legislators have combated the Supreme case by enacting state laws that, without breaking the federal case law, would bypass the Supreme Court’s ruling.