In addition to adjusting the 2011 budget Wednesday, lawmakers also left the door open for a special session to address a decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the Citizens’ Election Program.
A bill approved last month gives the legislature 30-days to address the court decision, which struck down the state’s landmark public campaign financing system as unconstitutional because it set the bar too high for minor parties to receive funding. If the legislature fails to act, the system will go back to the way it was before 2005 when special interests and lobbyists were able to donate to campaigns.
Karen Hobert-Flynn, vice president of state operations for Common Cause, said Wednesday that the bill providing an additional 30 days for the legislature to act facilitates a way for lawmakers to return should the Second Circuit Court of Appeals come down with a negative opinion.
Beth Rotman, director of Public Campaign Financing, said the legislature approved the bill to extend the reversion clause which gives them more time to do a fix, but it’s not a fix itself.
The General Assembly has already made it clear they want to use the Second Circuit Court decision as a roadmap, Rotman said Wednesday.
In addition to the special session, legislative leaders said it’s possible they may return sometime in July for a veto session. It all depends on whether Rell decides to veto any bills.