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Guide: New York State’s Small Donor Public Financing System

An overview of the key features of New York State’s new small donor public financing program.

Last Updated: December 18, 2020
Published: December 18, 2020

On April 3, 2020, New York enacted a ground­break­ing campaign finance reform: a volun­tary program of small donor public finan­cing for state elec­tions. This program will provide a multiple match on small contri­bu­tions from New York resid­ents to candid­ates who opt in. Its innov­at­ive design gives candid­ates the chance to raise compet­it­ive amounts based on modest contri­bu­tions from constitu­ents.

It is the most power­ful legis­lat­ive response enacted anywhere in the coun­try to the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United, which super­charged big money in polit­ics. The new public finan­cing program will help more New York­ers to be heard in the polit­ical process at a time when the need has never been greater. This over­view explains how the program will work.