Alaska Eliminates Individual Contribution Limits
The Alaska Public Offices Commission declined to adopt contribution limits following last summer’s Ninth Circuit decision invalidating the state’s previous limits. The court struck down Alaska’s prior $500 per year limit on the amount an individual can contribute to a particular candidate or political committee, finding the limit was too low to survive First Amendment scrutiny.
Initially, the Alaska Public Offices Commission signaled it would adopt a $1,500 limit, which would revive the prior $1,000 limit set by the legislature in 2003, as adjusted for inflation. However, the Commission declined to adopt this limit by a 3-2 vote at its February 28 meeting. The Commission instead urged the Alaska Legislature to revisit the state’s contribution limits to strike a balance between the Ninth Circuit’s decision and the desire of Alaska voters.
Alaska will still limit the amount an individual can contribute to political parties, as well as the amount that political committees may contribute to candidates, other political committees, and parties. Further, Alaska continues to prohibit direct corporate contributions and certain out-of-state committee contributions.