Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campaign Gifts Bill Clears Hurdle Senate Oks Compromise Guiding Candidates on Voluntary Limits

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campaign Gifts Bill Clears Hurdle Senate Oks Compromise Guiding Candidates on Voluntary Limits

Article excerpt

After a last-minute hangup, a campaign finance bill moved into position for final passage by the Legislature today.

The Senate passed a compromise bill late Thursday afternoon. The House has until 6 p.m. today to pass it and send it to the governor. By law, the session ends today.

The bill would set limits on campaign contributions and encourage candidates to abide by voluntary spending limits. It also would set up a statewide computerized system for campaign finance records.

"We're really pleased with the bill," said Marc Farinella, the top aide to Gov. Mel Carnahan. The governor had made campaign-finance reform a legislative priority.

Farinella said the last-minute hangup involved a drafting error that a conference committee straightened out Thursday afternoon.

Under the bill, the limits on contributions to candidates would be: $1,000 for statewide offices, $500 for state Senate and $250 for state House. Limits for local offices would be based on population.

Political parties would be governed by higher contribution limits: $10,000 for statewide offices, $5,000 for state Senate and $2,500 for state House. …

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