A new index of state regulations on political expression has them both near the bottom—and Wisconsin on top.

Wall Street Journal:

But fewer skeptical eyes are on the 50 states, which is why it’s worth spending a few minutes to read a new report from the Institute for Free Speech. It’s an index of how state laws and regulations treat political committees, grass-roots advocacy, independent expenditures, and the like. The results aren’t partisan, and they’re probably not what you expect.

Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa finish on top of the ranking. No surprise that New York is dead last. Other states near the bottom are California (No. 44) and Connecticut (49), but also Alaska (42) and Florida (43).

What’s so cloudy about speech in the Sunshine State? The report says a mere $500.01 in spending triggers a registration rule for political committees, and that figure isn’t adjusted for inflation. Florida also has other low reporting thresholds, as well as long disclaimers and unclear legal definitions.

Forty-five states, according to the institute, “have statutes that are of questionable constitutionality and would likely not survive, if challenged in court.” These include low registration thresholds (under $1,000) for political committees: “As one court put it, ‘the informational interest’ of reports from such small groups ‘is outweighed by the substantial and serious burdens’ that such reports entail.”