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Lawmaker Pushing to Change Campaign Finance Law

The Campaign Finance Bill S.82 was the first to pass out of the 2014 Legislative Session, and was signed into law by Gov. Peter Shumlin to become Act 90.
MONTPELIER - The Campaign Finance Bill S.82 was the first to pass out of the 2014 Legislative Session, and was signed into law by Gov. Peter Shumlin to become Act 90.

But a drafting error has required a technical corrections bill to fix the effective date of the bill. Rep. Cynthia Browning (D-Arlington) is using the opportunity to propose two amendments to the bill. She wasn't allowed to propose amendments when the House of Representatives voted on the bill, because it was a conference committee report. The House and Senate chambers were only allowed to vote yes or no--Browning voted no.

Browning will introduce two amendments Thursday on the House floor. One will lower the contribution limits set by the law, which she says are too high. She especially points to the fact that parties can give an unlimited amount of funds to candidates. Her second amendment would require more information from people who donate to political candidates; not just their name and address.

"I think someone's occupation and employer should be reported," she said. "Otherwise not only can a large corporation give any size contribution, all of their vice presidents can give any size contribution. And it may not be easy to find that all those people work for that company."

Rep. Browning says she expects her amendments to be deemed "non-germane" to the technical corrections bill. She says she has a plan if her amendments are shut down, but she won't say exactly what it is yet.
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