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Connecticut governor signs strict campaign funding bill

[JURIST] Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell [official website], a Republican, has signed into law legislation [text] that bans campaign contributions from lobbyists and state contractors, limits political action committee (PAC) funding, closes a loophole allowing unrestricted corporate funding, and establishes a publicly-funded voluntary campaign contribution program. Read a transcript of Rell's remarks at the signing ceremony Wednesday. Critics of the bill pushed for additional measures aimed at eliminating special interests, but Rell and the Democratic leadership who guided the legislation through the state's General Assembly [JURIST report] say the bill should reassure the public that Connecticut is "putting elections...in the hands of the people." Maine and Arizona have previously established public campaign funding through ballot initiatives. Rell said the bill addresses the concerns of Connecticut citizens who lost faith in their state government following the corruption scandal of former Governor John Rowland [archived official site; JURIST news archive], who is currently serving a year sentence in prison for violating corruption laws [JURIST report]

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