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Ky House Committee Votes to Increase Campaign Spending Limits

Damon Thayer

A bill doubling the individual campaign contribution limit in Kentucky continues to move through the General Assembly, emerging from the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Monday.

The measure, sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, would take the individual contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,000 and set the ceiling for political parties at $5,000.  He told House committee members it would be indexed for inflation every odd numbered year in $100 increments.

“This will mirror federal law where they raised it to a certain threshold and then it is indexed to inflation.  So, hopefully future general assemblies never have to deal with this question again,” he said.

Frankfort Representative Derrick Graham voted "no."  He said the more money individuals can provide to candidates leads to more influence and less overall responsibility to constituents.

Speaking against the higher limits including those going to political parties was Louisville Representative Reggie Meeks.

“One of the things that is very apparent that’s happened over the last few years is that money has become the focus of government and elections, not sound public policy, ” he said.

Thayer said the contribution limits haven’t changed since 1993.  The Scott County senator says costs are higher today for printing, postage, and the multiple forms of media needed to run an effective campaign.  

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