For 36 years, Georgia law has banned utilities from giving money to campaigns for state office.
This week state senator Don Balfour,R-Snellville, introduced a bill that would give utilities the same power to fund campaigns as other firms.
A sweeping overhaul of the state's lottery-funded HOPE scholarship has rapidly cleared two hurdles in the Georgia Legislature.
The House Appropriations Committee approved the bill 60-2 Thursday morning soon after the higher education subcomittee signed off on it.
Governor Nathan Deal wants top-performing Georgia high school students to receive free tuition at public colleges.
Deal on Tuesday outlined sweeping changes he is proposing to the state's lottery-funded HOPE scholarship, which is struggling financially.