HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A bill attempting to prevent political candidates from receiving public campaign financing if they’ve been criminally convicted of election law violations is progressing through the Connecticut General Assembly.

The Government Administration and Elections Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved the legislation requiring candidates participating in the Citizens Election Fund to certify they’ve not had a conviction within the past eight years.

The bill moves to the House of Representatives for further action.

It stems from the case of former Bridgeport state Sen. Ernest Newton, a Democrat who received an $80,550 grant last year for a failed legislative race after serving more than four years for accepting a bribe and misusing campaign contributions for personal expenses.

In January, Newtown was charged with falsely obtaining the grant funds. He has denied the accusations.


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