The Majority leader in the state Senate says it's up to Assembly Republicans to decide whether campaign finance reform advances. Comprehensive campaign finance reform is getting fresh attention at the Capitol, but Sen. Russ Decker is not optimistic about the bill's prospects in a key committee. "It's going to be tough, because I think the Assembly Republicans have pretty much stomped the door, as far as getting their Assembly chair of finance to allow a hearing on the bill," says Decker. "It's been there quite awhile."
Sen. Mike Ellis is the author of the bill (SB-12), and suggested it could be brought to the floor of the Senate without first being approved by the Joint Committee on Finance. Decker doesn't see that happening, either: "Senator Ellis is a former majority leader, and he knows that there's a process to follow." Decker is somewhat more optimistic about prospects for legislation (SB-171) that would provide public financing for state supreme court races, something he says is more straightforward than the broader reform package.