Senator Fred Akshar released his latest Community Voice Survey on the public financing of political campaigns.
The 2019-20 New York State Budget cleared the way for the state to establish a taxpayer-funded public campaign financing system by creating a Public Campaign Financing Commission and setting aside up to $100 million in tax dollars to fund the program.
The commission has been tasked with creating a small-dollar, public matching funds system for state elections, similar to a system currently in place for New York City elections. Governor Cuomo’s proposal would have taxpayers provide up $18 million in public funds for a candidate for governor, up to $350,000 for each Assembly candidate and up to $750,000 for each Senate candidate for each election cycle.
The commission is also examining eliminating or changing the practice of fusion voting, which allows a candidate to appear on more than one party line on the ballot.
The final vote by the commission on Dec. 1 will be binding and, barring immediate action from lawmakers, turn its proposals into law.
Senator Fred Akshar said, “Instead of letting the voters or the legislature decide on whether to use tax dollars to fund political campaigns, the Governor and the Democrat-led Senate and Assembly have established a commission to decide how to move forward. At the end of the day, these tax dollars belong to the people, and I want to hear from them whether they want them spent on political TV commercials, robocalls and mail pieces."
Akshar’s survey asks his constituents to weigh in on whether tax dollars should be used to finance political campaigns, as well as fusion voting, another issue before the Commission. Fusion voting in New York State allows candidates to appear on multiple party lines after receiving endorsements.
Throughout the 2020-2021 Legislative Session, Akshar will regularly post new Community Voice Survey questions on Akshar.NYSenate.Gov and publish the results of previously asked questions.