The legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee is planning an informational forum to discuss the implications of a federal court ruling that struck down the state’s landmark public campaign finance program.
Even though the state has decided to appeal the decision lawmakers want to maintain confidence in the system while looking at ways to fix it.
“This forum is the first step in assessing and understanding what the federal ruling truly means for our state,” Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, said in a press release.
Jeffrey Garfield, executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, unsuccessfully lobbied lawmakers to address the issue during its special session to finalize the budget last month.
“The legislature needs to act immediately; either by amending the reversion clause as we proposed in the budget implementation bill, or by calling an immediate special session to consider a permanent fix to the campaign finance reform legislation,” Garfield said last month.
The reversion clause will take the fundraising system back to the way it was before 2005. The clause isn’t triggered until April 2010 and is triggered only if there’s still a lawsuit pending.
Lawmakers said they want to address the issue methodically.
“We believe it is imperative for legislators, executive branch officials, potential candidates and, most importantly, the public to understand the factual and legal basis for this opinion before undertaking any changes to the law,” Rep. James Spallone, D-Essex, said in a press release.
The forum will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Legislative Office Building.