The board governing the state's campaign money rules agreed to pay more than $100,000 in attorney fees and costs after losing a lawsuit over campaign donation limits.

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, sued the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board to end a two-decade-old law restricting the amount that candidates could accept from big donors, lobbyists, political parties and political action committees. A federal judge suspended the limits on big individual donors last year.

The decision followed recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have struck down donation limits as unconstitutional restrictions on free speech, setting precedents to begin deregulating the campaign finance system both in Minnesota and across the country.

A letter was submitted to U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank telling him of the settlement, pending recommendation by a legislative panel and approval by Gov. Mark Dayton to spend contingency money on the agreement. The Institute for Justice would receive $100,000 in attorney fees and $2,436 in court fees

Patrick Coolican