For Immediate Release: October 15, 2019
Fair Elections Campaign Statement on Commission’s Thanksgiving Report Release
Will there be an interim draft bill, or not?
The following statement can be attributed to the Fair Elections for New York Campaign:
“We teach students to do first drafts before handing in final reports. The legislative process has built in committee review for draft legislation. The state Constitution requires that all bills ‘age’ for three days before they can be considered for a vote. News reports suggest the Public Financing Commission is set to release its only report to the public in a Thanksgiving news dump. This adds even more urgency to the need for an interim report that the public and experts can respond to. Will there be an interim draft bill or not?
“While yesterday’s working session showed the Commission is making real progress, they must build in time for the public and campaign finance experts to respond to actual, concrete proposals before they become law to ensure they are workable proposals rather than a backroom ‘big ugly.’ Anything less will raise serious concerns about the Commission’s process and cloud the results of their hard work.
“We urge the Commission — and hope the Governor, Senate Majority Leader, and Assembly Speaker will join us — to release a draft bill for public review in early November.”
Background: Good government organizations and the Fair Elections for New York campaign have separately called on the Commission to release an interim draft report in bill form, including at yesterday’s Commission meeting, but the Commission has not provided a formal response. The issue was raised at the meeting, and there seemed to be some agreement, but no formal commitment was made and no clarification on what it would look like or when it would be released.
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.
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