Michigan Senate approves super PAC legislation

A file photo of Michigan's Capitol Building in Lansing on May 25, 2016.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Political candidates could solicit unlimited contributions for independent committees supporting them under Republican-sponsored bills advancing in Michigan’s Legislature.

Supporters of the legislation approved 23-12 Thursday by a divided Senate say it would codify into Michigan law unfettered political spending by independent committees that’s legal under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and other rulings. But opponents note it goes further, imposing no limits on candidates’ ability to direct supporters to their own super PACs.

Backers say independent expenditures from corporations, labor unions and others still couldn’t be coordinated with candidates. Yet Craig Mauger with Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a watchdog group, questions how “independent” the spending would be if candidates could solicit unlimited funds for a super PAC supporting them.

The bills go to the Republican-led House for consideration.