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Attorney General Issues Opinion That Campaign Finance Contribution Limits Remain In Effect

CONTACT: William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, (802) 828-3173

May 13, 2014

Attorney General William Sorrell issued a formal opinion on May 13, 2014, stating that Vermont’s campaign finance contribution limits remain in effect through December 31, 2014. The Secretary of State had asked whether limits on contributions are in effect for the 2014 election in light of the Legislature’s passage of Act 90.

Act 90 revised the campaign finance law and established new contribution limits starting in 2015. The Act contained a drafting error, making it appear that there was a gap between the date the old limits expire and the date when the new limits will go into effect. However, the legislative deliberations make clear their intent was to have the former contribution limits continue in effect through the 2014 election cycle. Under Vermont law that intent prevails. Therefore, the Attorney General advises that the prior limits remain in effect through December 31, 2014.

These limits specify that no candidate for election to Vermont office shall accept contributions totaling more than $1,000 from a single source or more than $3,000 from a political committee (PAC) for any election. In addition, no PAC or political party shall accept contributions totaling more than $2,000 from a single source, PAC, or political party in any two-year general election cycle. The Attorney General’s Office will continue to enforce these limits and evaluate each complaint of potential violation on its merits.

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