House GOP play would wipe out campaign spending limits

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ST. PAUL — Minnesota House Republicans are proposing to significantly alter state campaign finance law as part of a budget plan.

A component of the majority party’s budget plan released Tuesday would repeal Minnesota’s program that makes candidates eligible for campaign subsidies if they abide by spending limits.

It also ends the subsidy program itself, which was established in the 1990s. That program is fed by income-tax checkoffs and Democrats have tended to score more of the cash over the years.

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Another portion would remove limits on how much candidates can take from big donors, lobbyists and political funds. Those limits have been under legal challenge.

The changes are the GOP’s opening offer in a budget debate that will also involve majority Senate Democrats and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.