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Campaign Finance Reform Unlikely to Proceed in Albany

May 28, 2013 · By Karen DeWitt · WNYC

A key member of the state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference says the group does not foresee joining with the rest of the Democrats to overcome Republican resistance to a number of end of session issues, including public financing of campaigns.

Senator Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat, is part of the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway faction of Democrats that has formed a governing coalition with the Senate’s Republican members.

Savino’s group, known as the IDC, favors public financing of campaigns, and has been holding hearings to promote the proposal. But the GOP is adamantly against the idea, saying it’s a waste of taxpayer money. Most of the rest of the Democrats back public campaign finance. Senator Savino says her group would not consider trying to gather up all of the Democrats and demand a vote.

“Forcing a vote on the floor is not the way the IDC and the coalition was put together,” said Savino. She said she does not want the opposite problem, where Republicans might try to force the Democrats to vote on items they disagreed with.

“The coalition wouldn’t work if we allowed that to happen,” Savino said.

Without some GOP support, it’s unlikely that public campaign financing will be enacted this year. Savino says perhaps some Republicans can be persuaded to change their mind.

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