SPECIAL SESSION SET FOR TODAY—NO AGREEMENT YET ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE FIX

The state legislature today will consider a fix to the campaign finance reform law that includes raising the public financing grants for gubernatorial candidates to $6 million and limiting lobbyists’ campaign contributions to $100. However, there isn’t agreement on the plan as of yet and the proposal is likely to be amended. The General Assembly meets in special session today. A federal appeals court ruled unconstitutional parts of the reform law.

Among other obstacles to an agreement is Gov. Rell’s staunch opposition to increasing the public funding grant amounts. The court struck down the part of the law that increases the amount of public money a participating candidate gets when that candidate’s opponent spends above a certain amount—the so-called “trigger provisions.” The solution that will be proposed today is to double the initial grant—to 6 million from the current $3 million—but Rell says she would veto such a move.

The legislature also has to agree on how to change the part of the law that bans campaign contributions by lobbyists and their families. The court threw out that section of the law. The remedy the majority Democrats will propose today is a $100 limit instead of a total ban. They also plan to try to limit solicitations by lobbyists and state contractors.

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