/ Modified dec 18, 2013 7:18 a.m.

State Court OKs Higher Campaign Donation Limits

Rejects Clean Elections Commission arguments that Legislature-passed increase violates Voter Protection Act.

The Arizona Supreme Court has rejected arguments from the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission and is allowing new, higher campaign contribution limits passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature go into effect.

Tuesday's ruling by the high court came just hours after lawyers for the commission and the Legislature argued the case. The court said it will issue a formal opinion explaining its reasons later.

The court overturned an October decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals that found the law ran afoul of the Voter Protection Act. That law requires a three-fourths vote of the Legislature to make major changes to voter-approved laws.

The 1998 Citizens Clean Elections Act reduced the current campaign contribution limits and only provided for inflation adjustments.

Under legislation approved earlier this year, individuals contributing to a candidate for statewide office, such as governor or attorney general can give $2,000 for the primary election and another $2,000 for the general, up from the old limit of $912.

Legislative candidates also are subject to the $2,000 limit per election, up from a cap of $440.

The law also raises the individual contribution limit for political-action committees to $10,000 from $2,000.

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