Miller To Sponsor Campaign Finance Bill
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) will join forces with some progressive groups tomorrow to announce campaign finance reform legislation that includes both an increase in contribution limits and a pilot program for public financing of legislative campaigns.
Miller has blocked previous efforts to allow public financing of campaigns, citing concerns about the cost. The House of Delegates has been far friendlier to such efforts.
The bill that will be unveiled tomorrow relies on revenue from a voluntary checkoff on income tax forms. The legislation would allow fewer than a quarter of candidates seeking election to the General Assembly to participate in the 2014 election cycle, according a person familiar with the bill.
The bill also raises individual contribution limits to candidates from $4,000 per cycle to $4,400. The limit for contributions by political committees would increase from $6,000 per cycle to $6,600. And the cap on what individuals may give to all candidates during a cycle would increase from $10,000 to $15,000.
The bill also includes some other provisions, including one aimed at limiting contributions from companies controlled by the same person, according to the person familiar with the bill.
Miller will join Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George's), a longtime champion of public financing, in sponsoring the legislation, which is also supported by Common Cause and Progressive Maryland.
Both organizations put out news releases yesterday touting the bill.
March 5, 2009; 4:53 PM ET
Categories: General Assembly , John Wagner
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