GAB Passes Resolution Encouraging Legislature To Change Campaign Finance Laws

Board Notes Federal Courts Have Already Found Certain Laws Unconstitutional


The board that oversees Wisconsin elections has unanimously passed a resolution asking the Legislature to review and revise campaign finance laws.

The resolution passed by the Government Accountability Board notes that a number of federal court cases have found portions of the state’s campaign finance laws unconstitutional. That has sometimes made statutes hard to administer.

Board members recommend a Legislative Council study committee to overhaul statutes.The board also is offering to help the Legislature rewrite campaign law.

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“This is a profound and complicated area of the law that may not lend itself to the quick fix that some people think can easily take place,” said judge and board member Elsa Lamelas. “The only quick fix I can think of is eliminating the whole darn thing. I don’t think the Legislature wants to do that but that’s up to them.”

Federal judges in Milwaukee struck down contribution limits for individuals and political committees. The state Supreme Court is also considering whether candidates can coordinate with outside groups.