The state’s political refund contribution program took a killing blow this afternoon. Governor Tim Pawlenty announced he was slashing funding for the program, effectively ending refunds for contributions made after the end of this month.
Here’s what the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board just had to say about the “stick” side of that deal, limits on spending for publicly subsidized candidates.
Among the proposals is the unallotment of $10.4 million which would otherwise support refunds made under the political contribution refund program which is available to party units and candidates who agree to limit their spending by signing a Public Subsidy Agreement.
At the present time, all Public Subsidy Agreements signed by candidates remain in place and in full effect with regard to spending limits and other conditions to which signers agreed. The Governor’s proposed unallotments do not include unallotment of the income and property tax checkoff component or the direct appropriation component of the public subsidy program.
At this time it appears that the part of the public subsidy program that provides direct payments to qualified candidates is still in place. If the proposed unallotment of money for the contribution refund program is implemented, the Board will review with legislative leaders and others the possible effects of the unallotment on existing public subsidy agreements. The Board has no further information at this time.