SALEM, Ore. – Lawmakers will introduce a bill next month that aims to empower small donors in Oregon elections.

Under House Bill 4076, known as the Small Donor Elections bill, state legislative candidates would agree only to accept donations of $250 or less. In exchange, the donations would be matched 6-to-1 through limited public funds.

That means a $10 donation would be worth $70.

Kate Titus, executive director of the government accountability group Common Cause of Oregon, says candidates could shift their focus away from big political donors with this bill. But she notes cost is a hurdle.

“The cost, I think, has kept us from putting this reform in place in more places,” says Titus. “But really it’s a bargain to use small amounts of public funds strategically in this way, so that…