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Arizona Supreme Court OK’s Higher Contribution Limits to Candidates for State Office

On December 17, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a brief order, reversing the State Court of Appeals and approving the new higher contribution limits for individuals who give to candidates for state office. The Court said it would explain its reasoning later. The case is Arizona Citizens Clean Election Commission v Bennett, cv13-0233-SA.

The 2013 legislature had increased the contribution limits. The Clean Elections Commission then sued, arguing that because the bill did not pass with 3/4ths majorities in each house of the legislature, it is invalid. The public funding law says that the legislature can’t amend the public funding program without a 3/4ths majority in each house. Therefore, the issue was whether the contribution limits are intrinsically part of the public funding program or not.

The Commission that administers the public funding program does not like higher contribution limits because the Commission believes that will discourage candidates for state office from using the public funding program. See this story.

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