ST. PAUL -- The weeks after legislative sessions conclude typically represent a fertile fund-raising period for party caucuses.
But until this year's budget gridlock clears, Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate plan to avoid harvesting cash from lobbyists, political action committees or other special interests -- something lawmakers are barred from doing during regular session.
No law would prevent them from soliciting money from special interests now or during a special session, but top Senate and House officials say it would be unseemly to take donations from lobbyists or groups trying to influence work on the $27 billion budget.
"It would be totally dishonorable," said Senate Minority Leader Dick Day, R-Owatonna.
The mutual disarmament comes a day after House DFL leader Tom Pugh asked his GOP counterparts not to "exploit a loophole in the campaign finance law."
But the longer the stalemate stretches out, the bigger a crimp it puts in fund-raising plans.
The Senate GOP has a fund-raiser at a St. Paul bar planned for June 13, but Day said Wednesday he will cancel it if there's work left to do. Likewise, House Republicans would scrap a big affair six days later -- one of two annual events that Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty said usually brings in $30,000 to $70,000.
The House and Senate DFL caucuses have no events scheduled, officials say.
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