THE NEED for FULL DISCLOSURE NOW (Eight Page Report)
* Disclosure: LSR 2013-S-0260-R and LSR 2013-H-2042-R
* Public Funding: LSR 2013-H-0743-R
* Disclosure: HB 1704 – passed the Senate, but died in conference committee
* Disclosure: HB 1559: Case and Summary – died in committee (ITL)
* Public Funding: HB 1684: Case – died in committee (ITL)
Common sense for the common good.
CITIZEN FUNDED ELECTIONS:
Publicly funded elections systems in many states already enjoy wide support from voters and politicians across the political spectrum. With the Citizen Funded Elections Act of 2009, New Hampshire can join them.
Citizen Funded Elections Task Force
People need faith in our democracy. Legislators need the trust of their constituents, and voters need confidence that their government is working for them. We can no longer afford to wait to get special interest money out of our politics–the damage has already been too great. The Citizen Funded Elections Task Force, created by the New Hampshire legislature, sent a clear message to voters in the Granite State, Congress and the rest of the nation: even in tough times, especially in tough times, democracy belongs to the voters.
The Citizen Funded Elections Task Force was established through the passage of a bill during New Hampshire’s 2009 legislative session. The Task Force will:
Members of the Task Force and other information about the Task Force including their meeting schedule and location can be found by clicking here. Members of the public are welcome.
History of Citizen-Funded Elections in NH
In 2008, the New Hampshire legislature voted to convene a bipartisan commission to study how citizen funded elections could be structured and funded in our state. Acknowledging the current challenge of funding a full program for all gubernatorial, executive council and state senate races, the commission recommended enacting a pilot program in 2009. See http://nhcommission.demos.org/NHfinalreport.pdf for the commission’s December 1, 2008 report.
Citizen Funded Elections (CFE) State Senate Pilot Program Proposed by the Bipartisan Commission
Enacting a pilot program now would demonstrate that this reform works and build support for future program expansion, while sending a strong message that democracy matters in the Granite State.
Filed by Senator Martha Fuller Clark during the 2009 legislative session, the Citizen Funded Elections Act codified the commission’s recommendation for a pilot program in six state senate districts over three election cycles. The bill called for raising lobbyist fees to generate the projected $382,500 annual cost of the program. The bill was based on the reform model developed by the commission with input and data from several NH legislators and party officials, national experts and experts from other states, and citizen advocates. Due to a global, national and statewide economic crisis this bill was not pursued. Instead, a new bill establishing a Citizen-Funded Elections Task Force was introduced and passed during New Hampshire’s 2009 legislative session (see above).
Voluntary Public Financing has solid support among NH Voters. In a several polls of NH voters, large majorities said they support campaign finance reform and favored voluntary public financing-style reform. A broad base of Republicans, Democrats and Independent voters throughout NH supports voluntary public financing.
Voluntary Public Financing has bi-partisan political support in NH. In the legislative session of 2000, a bill (SB447) to establish voluntary public financing of campaigns passed. SB447 was drafted by a bi-partisan coalition. Bill sponsors included both Republicans and Democrats. The NH Senate passed the measure resoundingly. All the Democrats and nearly 50% of the Republicans on the House Election Law Committee supported this initiative. SB447 lost by only 32 votes in NH’s 400-member House of Representatives. A similar initiative, SB 355, lost in a close 12-12 tie vote in the NH Senate on February 14, 2002.