On February 3rd, the Federal Election Commission increased the amounts that individuals and certain PACs can contribute in the 2015-16 election cycle. The most significant change is that individuals may now give $2700 per election to each federal candidate. This is an increase from the $2600 per election limit that had been in place for 2013-14. Since primary and general election contests are viewed as separate “elections,” an individual may now contribute a total of $5400 to a federal candidate for the two-year election cycle.
In addition, individuals can now give $33,400 to each national party committee per calendar year (up from $32,400). The individual contribution limit to PACs of $5000 per year is not affected.
The contribution limits for larger PACs are not readjusted each election cycle. As a result, “multicandidate” PACs – those with 51 or more contributors that have supported 5 or more federal candidates – can still contribute $5000 per candidate per election, $15,000 per year to a national party committee, and $5000 per year to other PACs. However, smaller PACs that do not have “multicandidate” status have the same revised limits that apply to individuals’ contributions to candidates and national party committees for the 2015-16 election cycle.
The FEC also adjusted the reporting threshold for candidates, leadership PACs and political parties that receive lobbyist bundled contributions. Now, they must report contributions aggregated by a lobbyist if they exceed $17,600 (up from $17,100) in a semiannual period.