This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Lobbyists may soon get rid of their newly required badges, and most corporations may no longer need to report their political donations to the state.
The Senate Government Operations Committee voted 4-0 to advance SB207, which contains those provisions, to full Senate on Monday.
Its sponsor, Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said it would eliminate lobbyist badges, and their $10 fee. They were just imposed this year.
He said only a small number of professional lobbyists wear them, and most people actually lobbying are state employees or people from exempt groups such as the League of Women Voters or the Eagle Forum. So he said badges do little to identify who is talking to them.
The bill would also erase a requirement for most corporations to report to the state their donations to candidates or other political committees, which has been required if they donate more than $750.
The bill would continue such requirements only for what it newly defines as "political purpose corporations," which make or intend to make political donations that amount to more than half of their business expenditures.
Bramble said corporations had been required to disclose donations so that their reports could be compared with those by candidates and political action committees as sort of a check for accuracy between them.
"It never worked," mostly because of differences in timing when reports are filed, he said.
The bill originally also would have raised a $10 a day limit on how much lobbyists can spend on a lawmaker to $25, but Bramble amended the bill to remove that. The bill had little comment and debate.