NY lawmakers considering public funding for political campaigns

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — New York lawmakers paved the way for public campaign financing of statewide and legislative offices during session.

It’s up to a commission to come up with the specifics on how it will work.

This Public Campaign Financing Commission hearing in Albany last week generated an out-the-door line of people waiting to have their voices heard.

“Finance reform, very, very important for grass roots democracy,” Deyva Arthur, Green Party Member.

“We think that more than anything that the commission establishes a strong campaign financing commission that allows ordinary people to have more of a voice in the decisions that affect our lives,” Tom Speaker, Reinvent Albany Policy Analyst

The Commission is tasked with coming up with recommendations on how to allocate up to $100 million in public funds per year.

But, not everyone is on board with the idea.

“The system that we have now may not be perfect, and maybe there are some improvements that can be made. But, I think it’s pretty good the way it is right now than to bring in all these new changes that they want to make,” Chris Tague, Assemblymember, said.

Supporters of public campaign financing say it will make elections more fair.

But, others call the idea “ludicrous.”

“If you make them pay it through their taxes, then their money is going to support a candidate. And, by the way it may be to support a candidate that doesn’t fit the same vales or it’s someone that they may not support or vote.”

The Commission has until December 1st to come up with the recommendations.

Unless changed within 20 days, the Commission’s recommendations will become the “binding” law. 

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