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Legislators delay hearing after campaign finance ruling

Fri., Jan. 22, 2010

The Supreme Court’s ruling on campaign finance prompted a Washington legislative committee to delay action Thursday on two proposals involving contributions to local candidates.

The Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee was set to hold an afternoon hearing on two bills – one that would limit contributions to city council candidates to $800 and another that would place a similar restriction on candidates in smaller counties. Spokane County candidates currently have that limit, but Spokane city races have no restrictions.

Committee Chairwoman Darlene Fairley, D-Lake Forest Park, said she thought the bills’ limits, which are the same as those governing legislative candidate contributions, make sense because some counties and cities are so small that one large contribution “can buy that race.”

But the Supreme Court’s decision forced a week delay for a review by staff attorneys.

“We’re holding both bills to see if we are able to put them through,” Fairley said.

Jim Camden

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