Michigan governor signs super PAC bills

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

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has quickly signed into law contentious regulations for independent expenditure committees whose footprint in elections has grown since U.S. Supreme Court decisions seven years ago.

Democrats and campaign-finance watchdogs opposed the Republican-sponsored legislation, partly for letting candidates solicit unlimited donations for super PACs backing their campaigns.

But the Republican governor says the bills signed Wednesday — a day after lawmakers OK’d them — give the secretary of state “clear statutory authority” to regulate independent expenditure committees with reporting requirements and enforcement penalties. He cites confusion over the 2010 Citizens United ruling’s effect on Michigan law.

Snyder says the law now aligns with federal decisions protecting free-speech rights.

Critics say the law improperly lets super PACs running ads use the same attorney that a candidate committee employs.