Democrats and Republicans in the Assembly are working together on a bill that would double the amount donors can give politicians and allow voters to register online. It’s a surprise collaboration that emerged just days after Democrats reacted with outrage at a public hearing to an earlier version of the bill from Republicans. A new draft of the measure made public Friday night shows the GOP was willing to drop some elements that Democrats consider onerous to accomplish something both parties want — raising contribution limits. … The original plan to overhaul election laws, by Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), included elements that would make it harder to recall local officials, tweak the state’s stalled voter ID law and put new restrictions on when voters can cast ballots in clerks’ offices in the weeks before an election.
All of those ideas were dropped in the new version of the bill, which is sponsored by Stone, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), Rep. Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison).
The redrafted bill would double the amount donors can give candidates, meaning those running for governor could receive up to $20,000 from each supporter, up from $10,000. Limits for Assembly candidates would rise from $500 to $1,000 and for Senate candidates from $1,000 to $2,000.
In a change that would affect everyday voters, people with valid Wisconsin driver’s licenses could register to vote on a secure state website up to 20 days before an election. Backers say it is a key way to boost turnout.
The Assembly Campaign and Elections Committee is to vote on the bill Monday and the full Assembly is slated to vote Wednesday. Senators have yet to start work on the bill.