May 15, 2014 •
Vermont Attorney General Officially Corrects Legislature’s Campaign Finance Error
Attorney General William Sorrell issued a formal opinion confirming the state’s current contribution limits will remain in effect through the 2014 elections. Early in the legislative session, Vermont enacted Senate Bill 82, repealing the existing campaign finance law upon passage and establishing new contribution limits to take effect January 1, 2015.
The bill contained a drafting error, however, repealing the existing limits without anything in their place before the new limits take effect in 2015. The House attempted to correct the error through an additional bill, but it was never acted upon by the Senate Finance Committee.
While the Elections Division issued a statement confirming the old limits still applied, Secretary of State Jim Condos requested a formal opinion from the state’s attorney general since his office lacked statutory authority to enforce the old limits.
Relying on legislative deliberations on Senate Bill 82, Sorrell ruled the Legislature did not intend to repeal existing limits for the 2014 election cycle, and the existing limits at the time of the bill’s passage will be enforced until the new limits take effect next year.
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