House panel reviews campaign finance bill

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Legislators are still trying to fashion a campaign finance law more than 18 months after a previous one was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A House committee yesterday wrestled with a bill passed by the state Senate last week.

Much of the testimony before the House Government Operations Committee concerned the view by supporters that the latest bill would be “defensible” in court.

Others worry that Vermont could end up again on the losing end of another expensive lawsuit.

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that a 1997 Vermont law setting tight caps on the donations to, and spending by,  campaigns for state office was unconstitutional.

The Legislature responded with a new campaign finance bill last year but Gov. Jim Douglas vetoed it, saying it was too restrictive.

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