Democratic Conference Offered Legislation to Close Campaign Finance Loopholes and Oversights Which Currently Plague New York’s Election Laws
(Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Conference today forced legislation to the Senate floor to provide for public financing of campaigns and to strengthen campaign finance regulations. The Senate Republican/IDC coalition voted against the legislation.
“The alarming trend of major donors and special interests flooding elections with hundreds of millions of dollars should serve as a wake-up call to all residents of New York,” Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “Candidates are forced to raise ever-increasing sums of money just to be taken seriously in elections, which can cause the focus to shift from serving the people to serving the donors. We must reverse course, pass campaign finance reform and return government to the citizens of New York.”
The legislation would establish matching funds for small donations made to candidates by New York State residents. Eligible contributions up to $250 are matched at the rate of $6 for every $1. In addition to matching funds, the legislation would create a public financing venture with a contribution limit of $2,000 per contributor for candidates who choose to participate in the system.
Senator Gustavo Rivera said, “At a time when the outsized influence of money in politics is more troublesome than ever, campaign finance reform is one of the most important changes we can make to improve our democratic process. I am deeply disappointed in the Senate Majority Coalition for standing against this vital reform to our electoral system. We need to change the status quo to help ensure elected officials act in the best interest of their constituents rather than those with the deepest pockets.”