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Press Release

New York State Budget Includes $114.5 Million for Small Donor Public Campaign Financing; Brennan Center Reacts

The final state budget for fiscal year 2025 includes $114.5 million for the state’s small donor public campaign financing program.

April 20, 2024
Contact: Derek Rosenfeld, Media Contact,, 646-292-8381

Today New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie finished unveiling the final state budget for fiscal year 2025, including $114.5 million for the state’s small donor public campaign financing program. The voluntary program matches small contributions from local residents to participating candidates with public funds and is in effect for the first time for this year’s legislative elections, with more than 300 candidates participating.
Joanna Zdanys, senior counsel in the Elections and Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the following comment:
“This budget marks another major step forward for democracy in New York. For too long, wealthy donors have had an outsized influence in our state’s politics, drowning out the voices of everyday New Yorkers. By fully funding the state’s groundbreaking small donor Public Campaign Finance Program, our political leaders have shown their commitment to a democracy that works for all New Yorkers and, ultimately, to a government that shares and reflects the interests of the people it serves.

“We commend Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Heastie for fulfilling their promises to support this vital program. At a moment when basic democratic values are under threat across the country, New York offers hope that democracy can not only survive, but thrive.

“We also commend them for including legislation that requires transparency when political communications use AI-generated deepfakes. Rapid advances in technology threaten to turbocharge the spread of disinformation in our elections. With these new safeguards, New York is helping voters to identify deceptive political content when being able to do so matters more than ever.

“The budget also includes important legislation requiring the state to maintain voting and election data and make it publicly accessible. Coupled with much-needed funding for the local boards of elections that serve at the front lines of our democracy, this budget demonstrates New York’s commitment to serving the needs of its voters.

“In the remaining weeks of the legislative session, we look forward to supporting additional advances to deliver a stronger democracy to the people of New York.”