The D.C. City Council voted yesterday to double the amount each individual contributor may give a political candidate in future pears, raising the maximum to $2,000 in the race for mayor.
The council also voted to cut the daily pay for members of the Board of Elections and Ethics from $125 to $100 instead of raising it to $250, as board members sought.
Both actions were taken as the council gave preliminary approval to a bill making a long list of changes, many of them technical, in the city's election and conflict-of-interest law. The measure must be approved again by the council before it is enacted.
Under present law, an individual is permitted to contribute half as much to a candidate's campaign as a corporation, union, association or married couple may contribute. The new measure would raise all contributors to the higher level.
Under the proposed law, the contribution for mayor would be $2,000; for council chairman, $1,500; for an atlarge council member, $1,000; for a ward representative on the council or an at-large school board member, $400; for a ward representative on school board, $200, and for advisory neighborhood commissioner, $25.
Under the measure, no individual could give more than $4,000 to all candidates for a single office.
Several contributors to this year's mayoral race have donated to rival candidates for the post, official records show. The new spending levels would take effect next year, after the current campaign is over.
The proposal to cut the pay for Board of Elections members to $100, with proportionate hourly pay for less than a full day, was made by council member Polly Shackleton (D-Wardk 3).
It was approved by unanimous voice vote. Shackleton and John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2) complained that the cost of the D.C. elections board for exceeds the cost of similar bodies in the suburbs. The D.C. League of Women Voters had issued a report making the same point.
Although the action is a direct rebuff to Shari B. Kharasch, the current board chairwoman, who sought the higher pap, Shackleton insisted it was not intended personally. Kharasch was out of the city yesterday and not available for comment.
The council action does not change the maximum amount the elections board members can earn in a year - $26,500 for the chairwoman, $12,500 for the other two members.
At yesterday's meeting, the council postponed scheduled action for at least two weeks on proposed changes in the city's unemployment compensation program.
The council also voted preliminary approval to bills that would:
Restrict the right of out-of-state tax agents to conduct surveillance of D.C. liquor stores to observe buyers seeking to carry illegal quantities of liquor into the suburbs.
Make clear the fire chief's right to immediately close hazardous premises, sidestepping current procedural red tape. The measure was introduced after last year's Cinema Folilies theater fire that claimed eight ,oves.