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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Increased Campaign Finance Limits Near Passage In Montana

Sen. Theresa Manzella (R) - Hamilton
Freddy Monares
UM Legislative News Service
Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, listens Thursday to debate in the House before introducing Senate Bill 368. Manzella is carrying the bill that would increase campaign contribution caps for state candidates.

A bill that would increase the money state candidates can raise is one vote away from passing the Legislature.Senate Bill 368 failed a vote in the House earlier this week but was brought back to life by Republican Rep. Theresa Manzella in the House today. The bill would also require the now-independent Commissioner’s Office of Political Practices to report to the state’s Attorney General.

Manzella is carrying the bill in the House.

“What this bill does that we should all appreciate is that it brings transparency for all of us, it brings accountability for the COPP, as well as us,” Manzella said.

Democratic Rep. Zac Perry opposes the bill. He says it would reverse a law passed in 2015  to remove “dark money” in Montana politics.

“We had a great moment in the last session with the Montana Disclose Act, that was a great achievement by that body. I see this bill as an attempt to undermine that,” Perry said.

The House passed the bill on a preliminary 54-to-46 vote.

Freddy Monares is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

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