AUGUSTA — A Maine legislative committee has voted to kill a bill to repeal part of the state’s Clean Election law.

The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee voted unanimously to reject a bill that sought to prevent candidates for governor from receiving taxpayer-funded allocations through the Clean Election Act. The law also funds candidates for the Legislature who qualify.

Critics of the Clean Election Act have called it “welfare for politicians.” The bill was sponsored by Tyler Clark, R-Easton, and carried over from last year’s session.

The activist group Maine Citizens for Clean Elections praised the committee’s action, saying it’s a step against big-money, special interest politics.

The Legislature must also deal with a separate issue created by a court decision. It deals with portion of the law which provides matching funds to candidates who are outspent by their opponents.