Senate overrides Rell’s veto on public campaign finance, House may try next week

As expected, the Senate today overrode Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s veto of a bill revising the state’s public campaign finance law, paving the way for the House to do the same next week.

The bill doubles the public campaign finance base grants for the gubernatorial races to $6 million and limits lobbyists from donating more than $100 to a campaign. Rell has said she does not support increasing the grants when the state is facing such a harsh economy. However, Democratic lawmakers maintain this spending has already been budgeted for and it would be unfair to not increase the base grants in response to a federal appeals court ruling that throws out matching grants when a publicly-funded candidate faces an opponent who opts out of the system and chooses to spend large amounts of money.

There are two gubernatorial candidates participating in the state’s public finance system, Democrat Dan Malloy and Republican Michael Fedele. Tuesday’s primaries will determine if they will move on to the general election, but the House will not convene until the following Friday to take up the veto.