Bill to increase campaign contributions limits

State Rep, Kyle Green Jr. testified about his bill to increase campaign contribution limits. (Photo by Alex Tirado / LSU Manship School News Service)

BATON ROUGE — The House and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced a bill Tuesday that would raise the limit on the amount of money that individuals and political committees can contribute to candidates.

House Bill 254, sponsored by state Rep. Kyle Green Jr., D-Marrero, would set the campaign contribution limit for donors and small political action committees at $5,000 for all political offices. It would increase the limit to $10,000 for larger PACs with 250 or more members who have contributed at least $50 each.

Current state campaign finance law sets varying donation limits depending on the office a candidate is running for.

Major offices, including statewide elected officials, already have a limit of $5,000, while district offices and other offices that include members of the Legislature have limits of $1,000 to $2,500.

The bill would remove this hierarchical structure of campaign contributions and provide a blanket contribution limit regardless of the office sought by the candidate.

"What this bill seeks to do is raise everybody up to reach uniformity across the board," Green said. "It also raises the minimum campaign contribution for regular PACs, bringing everyone up to $5,000 and for big PACs up to $10,000."

The bill passed 8-5 with bipartisan support but met some opposition from legislators.

State Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley, raised concerns about the undue influence larger amounts of money would have on district races.