Tennessee opens door to corporate political donations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new Tennessee law not only brings the state into line with a U.S. Supreme Court campaign finance ruling, but goes a step further by allowing businesses to give donations directly to candidates.

About half the states had laws conflicting with the high court ruling that it was unconstitutional to ban businesses from funding campaign activities by independent groups.

Several states have changed their laws to comply, but according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Tennessee is alone in opening the door to direct corporate donations.

Corporate giving now falls under the same rules and limits as political action committees.

Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill into law on Wednesday. He told reporters earlier that he did not take a position on the bill sponsored by fellow Republican lawmakers.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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