A proposal that supposedly reforms Connecticut's campaign finance system is all but certain to backfire on the state’s economy.

HB 5528 actually is an ill-advised attempt to re-engineer the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case by creating significant regulatory hurdles for Connecticut employers.

In Citizens United, the court said that government cannot restrict the independent political expenditures of corporations and unions. 

Not good enough, according to some lawmakers, so HB 5528 aims to ratchet up state government’s control over businesses’ court-affirmed freedom of speech. HB 5528 creates unnecessary hurdles for Connecticut businesses and sends a very poor message about the state’s business climate.

In the worst of these hurdles (contained in Section 16 of the bill), all Connecticut companies (corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and other business organizations) will have to notify their shareholders (or other owners) about their political activities and campaign-related expenditures.

Section 16 also requires all campaign-related expenditures of $4,000 or more to be first approved separately by that company's governing body.

Forcing Connecticut employers to comply with these regulatory nuisances will not make the state any more appealing as a place to do business.

In fact, it will do just the opposite. With the struggle to attract and keep companies, it is absolutely the wrong message to send.