Thursday, August 16, 2007

Election Reform

In the final days of the session, we passed House Bill 1517, which establishes a pilot project of public financing for three Council of State races; the Insurance Commissioner, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the State Auditor. The program is modeled on the judicial public financing program. This is a voluntary program; candidates must opt-in.

We approved House Bill 1828, which I sponsored, and is meant to help participants in the judicial public financing program access rescue money when attacked by third parties, especially 527s. This bill is intended to prevent situations like ‘’, which undermined the integrity of the judicial public financing program. The recent Supreme Court case, Wisconsin v Right to Life, has limited the regulation of 527s.

Earlier this session we passed House Bill 91 which allows for ‘one-stop’ registration and voting in advance of elections, with restrictions to guard against fraud. This should increase voter turnout, especially among young people.

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