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Connecticut Amends Campaign Finance Laws

January 2006

On December 7, 2005, Governor Jodi Rell of Connecticut signed into law legislation (former S.B. 2103) that amends the state's campaign finance legislation in three primary ways. The new law was the result of a special session of the legislature, called in wake of the various corruption scandals that have rocked the state in the past few years, including one that landed the former governor in jail.

First, the new law enacts a public financing scheme for statewide and legislative races. Second, the bill enacts new campaign finance prohibitions for state contractors, prospective state contractors, principals of communicator lobbyists, communicator lobbyists, the immediate family of communicator lobbyists and PACs controlled by communicator lobbyists. Third, the statutory changes eliminate the exception for purchases of advertising space by business entities in state political committee publications.

Most of the new changes are effective December 31, 2006, which follows the next round of state elections in Connecticut. Additional information about the new statute, including the full text, can be found at the website of the State Election Enforcement Commission, www.ct.gov/seec.