The Maine Senate last week voted to eliminate additional Clean Election money for publicly financed legislative candidates if they get outspent by their privately funded opponents. Now, the House has followed suit, though additional votes are still needed before the bill heads to the governor.
The Senate last Thursday passed a bill to scrap matching funds from the Maine Clean Election Act after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling found it unconstitutional, according to the Bangor Daily News. The House yesterday voted 74-66 to support that measure, rejecting a few amendments offered by Democrats who said publicly financed candidates won't receive enough money. Clean Election candidates for the House will receive $4,000 and Senate candidates will get about $18,000. Most Democrats said it will be easy for private candidates to outspend their publicly funding competitors.
Both the House and Senate must vote again on the measure. If it's passed, it's likely the Maine Citizens for Clean Election will begin gathering signatures for a people's veto, according to the paper.