Utah lawmaker pushing for campaign contribution limits encouraged by Supreme Court ruling

- SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned aggregate contribution limits in place since 1974.

It means is a single contributor can now put their money behind as many federal candidates or political action committees as they would like.

Donors are still limited to the $2600 maximum limit for congressional and presidential candidates though.

Kirk Jowers, Director of The Hinckley Institute of Politics says one concern is the power this could give to some donors.

“Now the super donor who is able to give money to every candidate and every party committee and political action committee could essentially use that to circumvent that contribution limit," said Jowers.

The five justices ultimately decided participating in the political process is a basic right guaranteed in the first amendment.

Jowers says the ruling doesn't seem to echo public sentiment.

"Opinion polls have been pretty consistent that they like these types of contribution limits."

State Representative, Brian King believes it's time to limit contributions in Utah as well.

He points to the recent scandal at the Attorney General's Office, where investigators concluded it was up for sale.

"The Swallow circumstance made it more clear for me personally and I think made it more clear for some of my colleagues that we believe in disclosure in the state of Utah for campaign contributions," said King.

Disclosure and limits, King sponsored a bill that would have capped contributions at $10,000 for a state wide candidate and $5,000 for a legislative candidate.

It died in the house by just two votes.

"We're trying to make sure that people have greater confidence that the people they are electing to state wide and legislative office are not being unduly influenced by a lot of money," said King.

King is encouraged by the Supreme Court maintaining a limit on individual candidates.

He plans to introduce his bill again next year and believes it just may get the extra support it needs with a change in House leadership.

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