The Senate gave final passage early Wednesday to a bill reworking the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws, sending it to the desk of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Thus far the governor has been less than supportive of the legislation.
The bill aims to increase transparency in the election process by requiring corporations to disclose their campaign activity. It’s a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed corporations, unions, and special interest groups to funnel unlimited funds into political campaigns.
The bill passed 20-15 shortly after midnight on the last day of the legislative session.
Sen. Gayle Slossberg, co-chairwoman of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, said people should know who’s funding campaign ads.
“The purpose is to ensure that voters are fully informed about the person or the group who is speaking about the candidate or the issues in an election,” she said.
However, Andrew McDonald, Malloy’s chief legal counsel, said Tuesday that the governor’s not enamored with the legislation.
“[Malloy] has significant concerns with it and he has not made any commitment about what he would do if it reached his desk in its current form,” McDonald said.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the Connecticut ACLU, and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association have also voiced concerns about the potential impact of the bill.
During the Senate debate, Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, criticized the reporting requirements placed on businesses that spend money to influence elections.
“Why are we demonizing our local businesses and saying there’s some sort of mystery? They’re right in front of us,” McLachlan said.