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.