Fair Elections Bills
Three of the top elected officials in New York–Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins–have all authored Fair Elections proposals in the past:
- Governor Cuomo’s FY 2020 New York State Executive Budget calls for comprehensive campaign finance reform, including small donor public financing in Part B of the Governor’s Good Government and Ethics Reform Article VII legislation. Available online here.
- Leader Stewart-Cousins introduced the Fair Elections Act (2018), S7593. Available online here.
- Speaker Heastie introduced the Fair Elections Act (2016), A09281. Available online here.
In 2019, the Governor and the Legislature created the Public Campaign Financing Commission tasked with offering binding recommendations for the creation of a public financing program that becomes law if the Legislature does not act to amend or overturn the recommendations. The Commission’s proposal can be found on their website here.
The Commission fell short, not doing enough to limit big money in state politics and abusing its power with an undemocratic attack on New York’s minor parties. Now, leaders must act legislatively in 2020 to ensure a strong small donor matching system, with lower contribution limits, to truly increase the voices of average New Yorkers in the political process, and in turn lessen the power of big money. Fair Elections supporters plan to hold leaders accountable to their promise to deliver Fair Elections reforms. Email your legislators here to demand action.
New Yorkers deserve a responsive, accountable government. Voter turnout in New York is among the lowest in the nation, due in part to antiquated procedures for registration and voting that discourage participation. And our campaign finance system favors the wealthy over everyday, working New Yorkers. To tackle the crises we face in housing, living wage jobs, criminal justice, affordable health care, transportation, climate, fair taxes, and more, we must transform a campaign finance system that advantages the interests of the few over those of the many.
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