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Council Poised to Jack Up Campaign Contribution Limit
 

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By Lookout Staff

April 4, 2022 -- Soaring inflation -- which has jacked up consumer prices -- could soon hit Santa Monica's political arena.

On Tuesday, the City Council will take up a proposed ordinance that would increase the limit of campaign contributions made by individuals from $340 to $410.

The $70 hike proposed by staff follows a previous increase of $15 dollars approved by the Council in 2016.

The new limit would apply to City Council and Rent Control Board candidates and would be in effect for the upcoming November 8 races, according to City staff's report to the Council.

The limit does not apply to candidates for the Santa Monica Community College and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School Districts.

The City's Municipal Code "requires an adjustment of the City’s contribution limit from individuals every five years to reflect inflation," staff wrote.

The adjustment is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area and rounded to the nearest five dollars, according to staff.

Santa Monica's campaign contribution limit was first established in 1992 and set at $250.

In 2011, the Council voted to raise the limit to $325, rejecting staff's recommendation that it be set at $400 to keep up with inflation.

The limit was raised to the current $340 limit in 2016 and should have been adjusted last year "but was not presented until now," staff said.

As a result the next adjustment will go into effect in four years on July 1, 2026, according to staff.


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