A ban on campaign fundraising during the legislative session has been blocked temporarily. Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan has issued a temporary restraining order against a portion of the ethics bill approved last year; the portion seeks to restrict campaign fundraising by legislative and state-wide candidates during a regular legislative session. Representative Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles), the House Majority Floor Leader, sponsored the ethics bill. He allowed the amendment onto his bill, saying he supported the concept. Representative Jeff Harris (D-Columbia), the House Minority Floor Leader, sponsored the amendment. James Trout, a Webster Groves man planning to run for the legislature in 2008, filed the lawsuit against the bill. Judge Callahan has scheduled a hearing on his order for March 2nd. Dempsey points out Callahan’s ruling focuses only on the fundraising amendment added to the bill, not other provisions. He says that leads him to believe the remainder of the bill will withstand a legal challenge. Other provisions include elimination of individual contribution limits, new lobbyist reporting requirement and a ban on cash contributions to candidates from political parties.