• Description

Connecticut has offered a voluntary public financing system for state-wide constitutional and General Assembly offices since 2008. Through financing from the Citizens' Election Fund, candidates that obtain the required number of small donations can receive a lump sum to fund their campaign. The program is very popular and in 2012, 77 percent of successful candidates were publicly financed. This report looks at the impact public financing has had on campaigning, the legislative process, policy outcomes, and the dynamics of the legislature. Empirical data is supplemented with interviews with current and former legislators from both Republican and Democratic parties, elected state officials, and advocates to highlight the impact of public financing in the state. While only a few electoral cycles in, it is clear that public financing is a fundamental step towards a more representative legislative process that is more responsive to constituents.