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Legislature weighing campaign finance bills

Voting sign.
flickr user justgrimes

Lawmakers are moving quickly to try and pass several campaign finance bills through the Legislature during the lame duck session.

One bill, currently in the House, would prohibit any public agency from requiring nonprofits to disclose their financial supporters.

Craig Mauger is with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He says the bill protects a wide range of nonprofits.

“Your local church, to the food bank, to the nonprofit organizations known as social welfare organizations that spend millions of dollars trying to influence our elections every year,” he says.

Mauger says nonprofits currently are not required to report who supports them, so it’s likely a preventative measure intended to tie the hands of the incoming administration.

Bill supporters say the bill would protect donors to nonprofit groups like Planned Parenthood, who don’t want to get harassed.

Other Republican-supported bills would put a five-year statute of limitations on campaign finance violations and create a bipartisan commission to oversee campaign finance; taking those powers away from the incoming Democratic Secretary of State.

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