Plan could lift campaign caps if super PACs enter fray

SPRINGFIELD — Big-time campaign donations could bypass contribution limits in Illinois races under a plan approved by the Illinois House Wednesday.

The plan would remove the state’s contribution limits if a political action committee spent $100,000 in a legislative race on behalf of a candidate. That way, the other candidate could try to keep up, raising money limits-free, supporters say.

The limits would come off at $250,000 in a statewide race.

It was approved by the House on a 63-55 vote and now moves to the state Senate.

The plan is in response to several court cases which have given rise to so-called Super PACs.

“Without this bill Super PACs could come into Illinois and wreck real havoc on the countryside,” said Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat and sponsor of the plan.

The cap removal would apply to all candidates in the race. Now, an individual is limited to giving a candidate $5,000 per campaign cycle.

Th plan still needs to get through the Senate, which may be difficult as lawmakers continue to work on sweeping pension reform and their budget before their Thursday deadline for adjournment.

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