Rell proposes public financing bill to lawmakers

Gov. M. Jodi Rell sent state lawmakers today a proposed bill that would preserve the state’s public campaign financing program without increasing the base grants for candidates.

A federal appeals court last month ruled portions of the program unconstitutional, including a provision that increased grants to candidates participating in the program if a non-participating opponent spends more than a statutory limit. Legislative Democrats tried to address that ruling by raising the base grant for gubernatorial candidates from $3 million to $6 million, but Rell vetoed the measure.

Her proposed bill would simply eliminate the provision increasing the base grant. It also addresses another court finding by eliminating the ban on contributions by lobbyists.

If the legislature and Rell don’t agree on a way to modify the program, the entire public financing system will be invalidated. Rell said if the legislature does not act, she will force them to come back into special session.