For Immediate Release: March 23, 2019
FAIR ELECTIONS COALITION: ANYTHING LESS THAN A BINDING COMMITMENT IN BUDGET IS UNACCEPTABLE
Statement from the Fair Elections for New York campaign on the New York State budget negotiations:
“We are excited that public financing of elections is squarely on the negotiating table in the budget talks and is seen as a ‘must-do.’ Binding language in the final budget that locks in the key elements of an effective a 6-to-1 small donor matching system for all statewide and legislative races and funding to start implementation and build the fund are necessary. Anything less would not be ‘progress.’ New Yorkers have spoken loud and clear and everyone at the negotiating table has supported this proposal for many years.”
Fair Elections legislation is one of the top issues being debated as the Legislature and Governor finalize the state budget due on April 1.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie have all authored small donor matching systems proposals in the past that were consistently blocked by Republicans in the Senate. The Governor has once again included a small donor matching proposal in this year’s executive budget, and with supportive majorities now in control of both the Assembly and Senate, the path is clear to get the job done.
The Fair Elections for New York campaign includes over 200 community, labor, tenant, immigrant, racial justice, environment, faith, good government, and grassroots resistance organizations who are building momentum to pass comprehensive campaign finance reform, including small donor public financing, in this year’s budget.
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.