Tennessee House Strikes Down Campaign Finance Bill - State and Federal Communications

April 18, 2013  •  

Tennessee House Strikes Down Campaign Finance Bill

Tennessee State Capitol House ChamberThe Tennessee House of Representatives struck down a bill removing the prohibition on contributions from insurance companies and raising the contribution limits for party caucuses. House Bill 643 came up just two votes shy, collecting only 48 of the needed 50 votes to pass. The bill did however receive a majority of the votes, 48-41, so the bill is not technically dead.

Currently, Tennessee law prohibits insurance companies from making a contribution for political purposes. Under the bill, insurance companies would have had the ability to make contributions and would have had the same contribution limits as multicandidate political campaign committees.

The bill also would have allowed party caucuses to contribute $500,000 for statewide races, instead of the current limit of $374,300. It also would have doubled the amount the caucuses could contribute to senate and house candidates.

The bill was not defeated on a strict party line vote, as 13 Republicans voted against and another nine Republicans did not cast votes on the bill. It remains to be seen whether the House will bring the bill up for a second vote.

Photo of the Tennessee State Capitol House Chamber by Ichabod on Wikipedia.

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