During his 2013 State of the State address, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for overhauling the state’s campaign finance system, a plan that includes, in his words, implementing “a public financing system based on New York City. It works well for New York City. It’ll work well in New York State.”
Campaign Finance Reform: Currently, New York has the highest contribution limits among states that limit them at all and the third lowest rate of participation in campaigns. To rebuild trust in government, the Governor today outlined a series of steps that will bring fairness and greater disclosure to the state’s campaign finance laws.
- Disclose NY – The Nation’s Most Aggressive Disclosure Law: Current law requires disclosure every six months to a year or, in some cases, never. The laws should be amended so that any and all covered contributions to a PAC, lobbying 501(c)(3), other 501(c) organization, political committee, or political party over $500 will be disclosed within 48 hours, and within 24 hours near Election Day.
- Public Financing of State Elections: Without public financing, New York’s political candidates rely on large donors far more than small contributors. The Governor proposed enacting public financing of elections based on the model in place in New York City.
- Lower Contribution Limits: For most offices, the State’s contribution limits are substantially higher compared to other states, ensuring that large donors dominate major political campaigns. The Governor announced plans to lower New York State’s contribution limits, with even lower limits for those candidates who receive the benefits of public matching financing.
- Early Voting Ensures Easy and Effective Voting: The Governor proposed that New York create an early voting system that is at least one week long, and includes the weekend before a scheduled Election Day. Early voting strengthens democracy by making it easier and more convenient to vote and promotes higher voter turnout. It also reduces long lines at polling sites and eases the administrative burden on Boards of Elections on Election Day.