AUGUSTA (AP) — Supporters of Maine’s law allowing public financing of elections are worried by a portion of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed budget, which they say would deprive legislative and gubernatorial candidates of funds for their 2014 campaigns.

The budget seeks to cut $2 million disbursements for the Maine Clean Election fund in each of the next two years, for a total of $4 million.

Maine Citizens for Clean Elections Executive Director Andrew Bossie says that would leave no resources for legislative or gubernatorial candidates to utilize the program in 2014, opening the door further to influence by special interests and wealthy donors.

Voters approved the Maine Clean Election Act in 1996, making Maine the first state to do so. The program has enjoyed high levels of participation from all parties.

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