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State lawmakers debate campaign finance reforms

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Hawaii lawmakers are considering proposals to decrease the influence of private money on state elections.

The House judiciary committee planned to meet today to discuss reforming campaign finance reporting requirements. Members will also consider amending the Big Island’s pilot project for publicly funded campaigns to help increase its appeal.

The committee’s Senate counterpart may also hear a bill to create a comprehensive public funding program for state legislative races. The Senate judiciary committee hasn’t yet set a date to review the bill. The House approved the initiative last week.

Between 1994 and 2012, total state Senate candidate spending more than doubled.

Although Hawaii already has a partial public funding program, Kory Payne of Voter-Owned Hawaii says just one legislative candidate participated in 2012 and the existing program is ineffective.

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