Campaign Finance Reform Bill Introduced

TUESDAY, FEB. 18, 1997

The Senate leadership committee has introduced another campaign finance reform proposal that essentially follows Gov. Phil Batt’s plan without the legally questionable attempt to ban out-of-state contributions.

The bill, which still faces a formal State Affairs Committee vote as do several in the House, limits legislative race contributions to $1,000 for both the primary and general elections and statewide race contributions to $5,000 for both the primary and general elections. State political party committees could contribute double.

Batt’s original limits were only half as high.

The measure proposed Monday also requires detailed reporting of independent campaign expenditures.

In the 1992 race for governor between Batt and Democrat Larry EchoHawk - the most expensive governor’s race at well over $2 million total - only 17 of the hundreds of contributions the two candidates received would have been affected by the limits. The prohibited amount over the limits would have totaled just about $50,000 for Batt and about $200,000 for EchoHawk.

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