Public Act 10-1 (July 2010 Special Session)
The Connecticut General Assembly has amended the laws governing political activities of lobbyists and state contractors. With the passage of Public Act 10-1
, communicator lobbyists and members of their immediate families as well as political committees that they established or controlled may now contribute up to $100 to exploratory or candidate committees for statewide or General Assembly candidates, political committees established or controlled by those candidates, legislative caucus or legislative leadership committees, or party committees (which includes town committees). Communicator lobbyists and members of their immediate families may also make qualifying contributions of between $5 and $100 to candidates participating in the Citizens' Election Program (CEP). Principals of state contractors are still prohibited from making contributions in any amount to those candidates running for an office in the branch with which the contractor has or is seeking a contract, political committees authorized to give to such candidates, or party committees.
Please note: Candidates participating in the CEP may not receive contributions from principals of state contractors regardless of the branch with which the contractor has or is seeking a contract. The newly enacted statute also prohibits communicator lobbyists from bundling contributions on behalf of executive and legislative branch candidates. The statute defines "bundle" as forwarding five or more contributions to a single committee by a communicator lobbyist, an agent of the lobbyist, or an immediate family member of a lobbyist or raising contributions for such a committee at a fundraising affair hosted or sponsored by such lobbyist, lobbyist's agent or immediate family member. The bundling ban takes effect immediately.
In light of the Second Circuit's July 12 opinion, communicator lobbyists and principals of state contractors may also solicit contributions on behalf of candidate committees, political committees they control, legislative leadership and caucus committees, and party committees. As of January 1, 2011, however, communicator lobbyists may not solicit contributions from individuals who serve on the board of directors of, are partners of, are employed by, or have a 5 percent or more ownership interest in any client lobbyist they represent. Likewise, as of January 1, 2011, no state contractor or prospective state contractor or principals thereof may solicit contributions from the contractor's employees or one of its subcontractors or the subcontractor's principals to go to candidates in the branch with which the contractor has or is seeking a contract, political committees authorized to give to such candidates, or party committees.
Public Act 10-1
also returns the sessional ban to its original form, prohibiting contributions and solicitations by all lobbyists - both communicator lobbyists and client lobbyists - during the legislative session. This applies during any regular legislature session or during special sessions or vote-override sessions in odd-numbered years. During those designated times, no lobbyist may contribute to or solicit on behalf of any legislator or state officer's candidate or exploratory committee, a political committee for a particular legislative district or established or controlled by a state officer or legislator. This change in the sessional ban takes effect immediately. Additional changes in Public Act 10-1
affecting the candidates and town committees during the 2010 election cycle will be reflected in supplements to the guidebooks.