The Securities and Exchange Commission has given its approval to a revision of a voluntary agreement to ban campaign contributions.

The accord, announced by the municipal market's largest firms last October at the commission's headquarters in Washington, D.C., now more closely resembles a federal rule restricting contributions.

Originally, the private ban prohibited municipal market executives from making contributions to state and local officials who select municipal underwriters.

The revision, released yesterday by lawyers for market firms, allows municipal professionals to make contributions of up to $250 to officials of jurisdictions where the executive is registered to vote. The federal ban, enforced by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, also allows contributions of up to $250.

In a statement released yesterday, the SEC said: "The amendment to the industry's voluntary initiatives released today reaffirms the municipal market's participants' commitment to ending the practice known as pay-to-play."

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