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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.