Governor Cuomo’s 2019 Budget Proposal Contains Transformative Democracy

January 15, 2019

For Immediate Release: January 15, 2019

Contact: Alexandra Ringe,, 917-207-2290


New York, N.Y. – Governor Andrew Cuomo released his executive budget proposal for 2019 with major improvements to New York State democracy. The proposal includes small donor public financing of state political campaigns, a system that would match donations of $175 or less by 6 to 1. The governor also included automatic voter registration in the proposal. Eligible voters would be registered when they provide information to the state government at the DMV or another social service agency unless they opt out. The Brennan Center helped develop these policies and has long advocated for them.


Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, said:


Bold democracy reform requires bold leadership, and today the governor demonstrated just that. The policies he proposed—small donor public financing and automatic voter registration—will bring more New Yorkers into the political process. More people will have access to the ballot box, and regular New Yorkers will have a much stronger voice in Albany. These reforms are fundamental, and they will make Albany a model for the rest of the country.


For Brennan Center research and analysis:

For the Brennan Center’s recommendations for strengthening American democracy through reforms in voting, campaign finance, the courts, redistricting, and ethics rules:


Michael Waldman and other Brennan Center experts are available for comment.