Hartford, Conn. The state Senate on Wednesday approved some of the most sweeping changes in campaign finance laws in the country, including tight restrictions on contributions and a voluntary, publicly funded election system.
The House took up the bill later in the evening. The legislation would be the first to enact a public financing system applying to all statewide races, including those for the Legislature.
The Democrat-controlled Senate voted 27-8 in favor of the bill. Four Republicans supported the legislation, which would take effect Dec. 31, 2006.
The bill allots about $17 million each year in public funds for political campaigns. To reduce the influence of special interests, the bill bans political contributions from lobbyists and state contractors.