AUGUSTA — The ethics commission today considered two options for replacing the Maine Clean Election Act matching funds system recently declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Commission Executive Director Jonathan Wayne presented the commission with the possibility of giving lawmakers who qualify for public campaign funds a fixed amount. For House members, that would total a maximum of $7,716 for the primary and general election and for the Senate it could be as high as $33,617.

A second option would be to provide an initial payment of $5,000 for House candidates which could be increased to a maximum of $11,500 if a candidate collected additional qualifying contributions. In the Senate, the initial payment would be $25,000, with the possibility of requesting up to $55,000.

The commission made no decision today, and will continue to review the options at a September meeting. Wayne said he hopes to forward options to the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee by Sept. 26.

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