Politics

Houston City Council To Consider Raising Limits On Personal Campaign Loans

With the upcoming presidential election drawing calls for campaign finance reform, some adjustments to campaign contributions in the city of Houston will be discussed Thursday afternoon.

Now that the 2015 council elections are in the rear-view mirror, the Houston City Council’s Committee on Budget & Fiscal Affairs will meet to examine amending Chapter 18 of the Code of Ordinances, relating to campaign contributions.

An empty Houston city council chamber
An empty Houston city council chamber

Under the current ordinance a candidate for mayor cannot be reimbursed for personal loans to their campaign in excess of $75,000. Those seeking a city-wide office (controller and at-large council offices) are limited to reimbursement for personal loans in excess of $15,000, while district office candidates are limited to $5,000 personal loan repayments.

Though the request for increased limits came from current council members, Mayor Sylvester Turner said it will have little effect on the current council.

“It doesn’t impact the overwhelming members of the city council that’s being considered,” Turner said. “It doesn’t apply to the Mayor Pro Tem (Councilmember Ellen R. Cohen, District C). It doesn’t apply to me,” the mayor added.

Following Wednesday’s council meeting Mayor Turner was hesitant to disclose which members of the current council suggested altering the ordinance, or discuss concerns that raising the loan limits would benefit wealthier candidates. He did say that there is no intention to raise the $75,000 limit for mayoral candidates.

Thursday’s meeting will take place in the City Council Chamber at 2:00 p.m.

 

Share