After several weeks of debate, the U.S. Senate voted 59-39 this evening to approve Senator Christopher Dodd's wide-ranging financial reform legislation. The vote was largely along party lines, but four Republicans voted for the bill.
The final text was not immediately available, but the version of the bill brought to the floor included provisions to require majority voting in board elections and annual shareholder votes on executive compensation. The bill also affirmed the authority of the SEC to issue a proxy access rule.
The legislation will have to be reconciled with a narrower reform bill that the House of Representatives approved in December. That bill includes an advisory vote mandate and a proxy access provision, but not majority voting. A joint House-Senate conference likely will be held in June, and Democratic leaders hope to have a compromise bill ready for President Obama to sign by the July 4 holiday.