Tag Archives: corporate

AP’s Story on TN Corporate Contributions Law (with some added notes)

By Erik Schelzig
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new Tennessee law opens the door to businesses making campaign donations directly to candidates (and raises the amount of money that all political donars can give).
Gov. Bill Haslam, who signed the bill into law on Wednesday, told reporters earlier that he did not take a position on the bill sponsored by fellow Republican lawmakers that gave businesses the same contribution abilities as political action committees.
“I know the argument would be if unions and PACs and others give, why can’t corporations give at that same limit?” he said. “I was fine if that happened or didn’t happen, to be honest with you, as long as that limit is in place.”
Under the state’s previous law, most businesses were limited to running PACs funded through voluntary contributions from employees. Limited partnerships were allowed to make donations, but did not make significant contributions to candidates.
An Associated Press analysis of campaign finance records shows that state candidates received about $41 million in donations during in the 2009-2010 campaign cycle. Individual donors gave $28 million, or 68 percent, while PACs accounted for $9.6 million, or 24 percent. Candidates and businesses both gave less than $2 million, or 4 percent each.

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Haslam Bill Signings: Collective Bargaining, Corporate Contributions, Photo ID, Etc.

(Note: Updates & expands earlier post.)
Gov. Bill Haslam today signed into law legislation to change collective bargaining between teacher unions and school boards as well as a bill legalizing direct corporate contributions to Tennessee political campaigns, a spokesman says.
Both HB130, the collective bargaining bill, and the corporate contributions bill, SB1915, were written to become effective as soon as the governor affixed his signature.
The collective bargaining bill, in its final version, abolishes collective bargaining on some subjects but allows “collaborative conferencing” to continue on other subjects, including basic pay, but not merit or differential pay.
The campaign finance bill not only allows corporations to make direct donations to candidates for the first time in Tennessee, but also increases the size of donations that can be made under state law by about 40 percent. The bill also calls for increases in maximum contribution in the future as the consumer price index rises.
Also on the list of bills signed:
-SB16, the bill mandating a photo identification for voting.
-HB2156, authorizes 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for jobless Tennesseans.
-HB300, designed to make prosecution of “cyberbullying” easier.
-SB714, clears the way for private companies to operate “virtual schools” in Tennessee.
-HB386, makes it optional for each county to decide whether to have paper-trail ballots (as opposed to the mandate in original ‘Voter Confidence Act.’
-HB1114, grants investigation authority to state election coordinator.
-SB905, declares all non-teaching employees of school systems can be fired at will.
-HB693, abolishes pre-trial diversion for first-time criminal defendants
-HB1632, deals with capacity of communities to accept regugees from other countries
The full list of bills signed, as distributed today by the governor’s office, is available below.

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Direct Corporate Donations, Higher Contribution Limits Get Final OK

The House approved and sent to Gov. Bill Haslam today a bill that authorizes direct corporate contributions to political candidates in Tennessee for the first time.
The bill (SB1915) also raises the maximum contribution that individuals and political action committees can contribute to Tennessee politicians by about 40 percent.
The final House vote was 65-20. it passed the Senate 19-11 a day earlier. Haslam is expected to sign it into law.

Direct Corporate Political Contributions, Higher Contribution Limits Approved on Party-Line Votes

(Note: This updates and replaces earlier post)
Direct corporate contributions to political candidates will be legalized in Tennessee and the amount that can be given by all contributors will be be raised by about 40 percent under legislation approved by House and Senate committees Tuesday.
For political action committees, for example, the maximum donation will increase from $7,500 to $10,700 and adjusted upward for inflation in future years. Corporations will be treated as if they were PACs under the bill, SB1915.
Under sponsorship of Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson, R-Knoxville, the bill was approved on a party-line vote by the Senate State and Local Government Committee Tuesday morning.
The House State and Local Government Committee approved it about three hours later on voice vote in the Republican majority committee. Chairman Curry Todd, R-Collierville, dismissed House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner’s request for a recorded, roll-call vote.

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