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Missouri donation limits rise for legislative candidates

Candidates running for the Missouri Legislature will be able to accept a few more dollars from their donors.

The Missouri Ethics Commission said the campaign contribution limit for state Senate candidates is rising from $2,500 per election to $2,559, and the limit for House candidates is rising from $2,000 per election to $2,046.

The increases are the first under a constitutional amendment approved by votes in 2018, which set the original limits and called for an inflationary adjustment every two years.

The new limits will be in effect for the August primary election. Winning candidates also will be able to accept the maximum amount for the November general election.

The 2018 measure also prohibited lobbyists gifts worth more than $5 to state lawmakers, with an inflationary adjustment. The Ethics Commission said inflation was not significant enough to warrant a change to that limit for 2020.

Some Missouri lawmakers want to readjust those limits for future elections. Republican proposals pending in the House and Senate would lower the Senate contribution limits to match those for House candidates. They also would ban lobbyist gifts to lawmakers. Those changes are included in broader proposals that also would ask voters to undo key portions of a state legislative redistricting model approved by voters in 2018.

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