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Voters overwhelmingly approved Multnomah County plan to put strict limits on contributions and require donor transparency.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - County campaign finance reform supporters Dan Meek (left) and Jason Kafoury hold signs for the successful 2016 Multnomah County campaign measure. The state Supreme Court will hear arguments in September on whether parts of the measure are uncontitutional.Oregon's Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments surrounding Multnomah County's campaign finance reform ordinance approved by voters in 2016.

The court accepted the case Wednesday, Jan. 23, bypassing the state Court of Appeals. Oral arguments are expected in September.

Justices will be asked to determine if county Ordinance 1243 was constitutional. The 2016 measure, and the ordinance adopted by county commissioners, limits campaign contributions to $500 per individual and political action committees in races for Multnomah County public office, and requires political ads to identify the top five funders of the campaign presenting each ad.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the measure. A request to take the case straight to the Supreme Court was filed by eight citizens supporting the ordinance. It was opposed by members of several business groups, who prevailed in their challenge in June 2018, when Multnomah County Circuit Judge Eric Bloch ruled that parts of the ordinance limiting campaign contributions were invalid.

Members of the Associated Oregon Industries, the Portland Business Alliance and the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors challenged the ordinance in Multnomah County Circuit Court in May 2017.

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