Democrats question public election funding | News, Sports, Jobs


A group of Congressional Democrats is rethinking state funding for political campaigns.

Syracuse Democrat Rep. William Magnarelli, along with co-sponsors Monica Wallace, Karen McMahon, William Conrad, Angelo Santa Barbara and Billy Jones approve public funding for the 2020 state legislative election In favor of A.7598, which obsoletes The state budget, approved in early May, fully covered the $39.5 million demanded by the state’s Public Campaign Finance Board ($25 million to match small donations to candidates and $14.5 million to run the program). But there were reports that some lawmakers wanted the program postponed. . Public financing is set to begin for the 2024 state elections.

Maganarelli and his fellow Democrats have expressed their doubts in writing, but given that congressional leaders have shown support for public election financing this year and in past budget negotiations, the bill is likely to end Congress. It is unlikely to pass Congress before. Year.

“In 2020, a public campaign financing system was created to provide public matching funds for statewide and state legislative candidates.” Magnarelli writes on legislative legitimacy: “Installing this system will cost New York taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years. The 2023-24 state budget alone allocated $39.5 million for the system. These funds should be used for other purposes such as public education, infrastructure and health care.”

A publicly funded campaign was approved in 2019, but is not scheduled to start until the 2024 elections. The law was originally intended to encourage small donors to campaign by providing statewide candidates with a 6-to-1 public-funded matching system for contributions of $5 and $250. written. Any further donations would not have been eligible to be matched with taxpayer funds.

A bill approved at the end of this year’s parliament changed this system. Opinions were divided over Congress’ last-minute adjustments to the system, despite concerns about the system as a whole. Magnarelli, McMahon, Conrad and Warner voted for the change, while Wallace, Santa Barbara and Jones voted against it.

If Gov. Kathy Hochul signs the new bill, contributions of up to $18,000 to statewide elections, $10,000 to the state Senate, and up to $6,000 to the state legislature will match public funds. . A recently approved change requires congressional candidates to raise $12,000 from 145 district donors to qualify for public funding for their campaigns, up from the previous year. That’s an increase from $6,000 and 75 district donors. Senate candidates must raise $24,000 from 350 contributors in their constituency, which increases from $12,000 and 150 contributors.

“What does this bill do?” Rep. Andrew Goodell (R-Jamestown) asked the question during the floor debate. “First and foremost, this eliminates incentives for small donations because it doesn’t just match small donations, it allows you to get the largest donations allowed by law, and the first Because $250 means a match.Under the old law, you could only receive a donation of $250 and match it.Second, this would level the playing field, but instead of funding The number of contributors required to receive an offer has increased dramatically, greatly increasing the odds of success for incumbents, and now, as an incumbent, I have a solid donor base. I already have the database, I have always met or exceeded these levels, none of my challengers have ever come close to these new higher levels. So what does that mean?I mean, the program will allow incumbents to get almost unlimited funds and challengers will be frozen. I almost raised the points in the order because our rules usually require that bills have an accurate title, and this should be called the Incumbent Re-Election Guarantee Act.”

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