For Immediate Release:
May 3, 2023
Last night New York State lawmakers passed the state budget for fiscal year 2024, including $39.5 million for the state’s small donor public campaign financing program. The voluntary program, which launched in November 2022, provides public matching funds to participating candidates for state offices. This funding will ensure that the program is ready for candidates in the 2024 election cycle.
Joanna Zdanys, senior counsel in the Elections and Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the following comment:
“By funding public campaign financing in the new budget, our leaders in Albany have brought New York closer to a democracy that works for all. The groundbreaking program will give everyday voters a bigger say in the decisions that affect their lives. Together with funding to improve voter service and implement recently enacted voting rights legislation, this budget stands up for New York’s voters.
“New Yorkers overwhelmingly support small donor public financing. The program will weaken megadonors’ grip on Albany. It will make it easier for candidates to run constituent-powered campaigns. And it will make elected officials more responsive to the communities they serve, an important step forward following a budget process that left many New York voters feeling unheard.
“We applaud Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and all lawmakers who followed through on their commitments to fund this vital program. They have set an example for the nation. We look forward to supporting their continued leadership to ensure the program delivers on its full promise for the people of New York.”
New York’s small donor public financing program was enacted in 2020 to “ensure a government that is accountable to all of the voters of the state regardless of wealth or position.” It works by providing candidates who choose to opt in with a multiple match on contributions of $250 or less from the constituents they seek to serve. Analyses show that the program is the country’s strongest response to Citizens United and stands to transform the role everyday New Yorkers play in funding elections.
- How to Counter Big Money in Politics (April 17, 2023)
- Analysis Shows Amplification of Small Donors Under New NY State Public Financing Program (January 30, 2023)
- Major Strides for Public Financing (December 9, 2022)
- Guide: New York State’s Small Donor Public Financing System (December 18, 2020)