- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on a bill that would ease rules on anonymous political spending (all times local):

9:38 p.m.

The House has passed a proposal that would relax rules on anonymous political spending in time for the August primary election.

The bill was amended Thursday to include borrowed language from a campaign finance rewrite that Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law earlier this year.

That language increases the influence of dark money groups generally defined as tax-exempt organizations that spend money on elections and do not report their donors.

The amendment cedes regulation of dark money and other nonprofit groups to the Internal Revenue Service, essentially doubling the amount these groups can spend on ballot measures.

It also lets nonprofit groups spend more money influencing elections without having to reveal donors.

Voters looking to overturn the campaign finance rewrite would now have to file two referendums to have the language overturned in two sections of law.

The House passed House Bill 2296 on a 31-25 vote Friday. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

4:50 p.m.

The Senate has approved a bill easing rules on anonymous political spending ahead of the upcoming primary election.

The proposal includes an amendment that borrows language from a sweeping campaign finance overhaul that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed earlier this session. It could have a significant impact on the state’s upcoming general election.

The amendment cedes regulation of dark money and other nonprofit groups to the Internal Revenue Service, essentially doubling the amount groups with undisclosed donors can spend on ballot measures.

Republican Sen. Steve Pierce of Prescott says his goal is to move up the date so the language can be used before the general election.

Democratic Sen. Katie Hobbs of Phoenix says that adding the language the same language to a second bill will make it “all but impossible” for voters to attempt a referendum on the campaign finance bill.

House Bill 2296 passed on a 17-11 vote Friday. It now heads back to the House.

10:16 a.m.

The Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would ease rules on anonymous political spending ahead of the August primary election.

Republican Sen. Steve Pierce of Prescott amended legislation Thursday to include a provision that cedes regulation of dark money and other nonprofit groups to the Internal Revenue Service, essentially doubling the amount groups with undisclosed donors can spend on ballot measures.

It also allows nonprofits to spend more money influencing elections without having to reveal donors.

Pierce says his goal is to move up the date so the language can be used before the general election.

The amendment borrows language from a campaign finance overhaul that Ducey signed earlier this session. It does not include enforcement tools designed to go after bad actors Secretary of State Michele Reagan calls “convenience corporations.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide