Bill allowing larger political contributions passes House committee

A Minnesota House committee today approved a bill that would allow higher contributions to political candidates running for state office.

The House Elections Committee approved a wide-ranging elections bill that would increase contribution and spending limits for candidates for statewide office and the state Legislature. It would also require additional disclosure from independent groups that spend money to influence elections.

Increasing the campaign contribution limits will help candidates compete with outside groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley said.

"We're getting to a point where outside interest groups and their agendas are driving our political campaigns rather than candidates and their conversations with voters," Winkler said.

Several groups argued that increasing the contribution limits for candidates will only give moneyed interests a greater say in politics.

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