Tennessee House shoots down campaign donation changes for senators

Tennessee House shoots down campaign donation changes for senators

April 17th, 2014 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee Senator Bo Watson

Photo by Alex Washburn/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Efforts to let senators double the amount of campaign contributions they get from special interests and individual donors over the four-year course of their term belly flopped in the House this afternoon.

Sixty-one Republicans and Democrats said no to the bill, sponsored by House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada. Only 17 members voted yes.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, in the upper chamber.

Earlier, Casada tried to bat down criticisms from skeptical House colleagues. It didn't really increase the amount of money senators could collect, Casada argued. It merely "reset" the limits every two years, he said.

His House colleagues didn't buy it, with one noting that it would give incumbent senators a chance to squeeze more money from special interests. Another questioned whether challengers to incumbents would be put at a disadvantage.

Senators serve four-year terms. Representatives serve two-year terms.