Zwiener proposes bill to limit state campaign contributions

By Sahar Chmais 

Limiting campaign contributions for state officials and state candidates is the goal set by State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood).

House Bill 121, introduced by Zwiener, proposes to limit contributions to $5,000 per election, per individual, and $10,000 per election, per political action committee (PAC). Texas has no contribution limit for state candidates and is one of 11 states without a campaign limit for state-level offices. 

“House Bill 121 will bring integrity and transparency to our campaign finance system,” Zwiener said. “The best way to ensure that our elections have integrity is to make sure Texas elected officials aren’t for sale. This legislation would provide common sense campaign contribution limits, just like we have at the federal level.”

HB 121 aims to create equity in state elections, while lessening the influence that “big money” has on elected officials and their campaigns, according to Zwiener. In 2018, 10 contributors donated over $18 million, according to Zwiener. This number has jumped to over $68 million during the 2020 election cycle. 

“I want elected officials to be accountable to their constituents, not their big donors,” Zwiener said. “We need to set a new standard of putting people first in politics, instead of money.”

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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