Fla. Gov. says no to higher contribution limits

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Efforts to raise campaign contribution limit could be dead for this year after Gov. Rick Scott's office said Monday he is unlikely to approve any increase.

The push to raise limits is being made primarily in the House, which passed a bill (HB 569) that would raise the campaign contribution limit from $500 to $5,000 for statewide candidates and from $500 to $3,000 for legislative candidates.

A Senate bill (SB 1382) would raise the contribution limit to $3,000 for statewide candidates but keep it $500 for legislative candidates.

But Scott spokeswoman Melissa Sellers said Monday that the governor "can't imagine signing a bill" that would raise contributions by any amount, and the sponsor of the Senate bill, Sen. Jack Latvala says he agrees with the governor.

"I have never had a lot of interest or stomach for the idea of raising individual contribution limits," said Latvala, R-Palm Harbor, adding that they only reason he's proposing increases is out of a spirit of compromise with the House. "I understand where the governor is coming from and I support his position."

House Speaker Will Weatherford's office didn't immediately respond to a telephone call and an email seeking comment.

Scott spent more than $70 million of his and his family's money to get elected - far more than the $17.5 million his opponent, Democrat Alex Sink, raised while being limited by $500 campaign contribution limits. Scott plans to run for re-election next year and the higher contribution levels would allow a Democratic challenger to raise more money.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.