Comprehensive Reforms Combat Influence of Big Money in Politics and Empower Voices of All New Yorkers
Video of the Governor Announcing This Proposal is Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced proposals to lower campaign contribution limits and implement public financing of elections are included in the 2019 executive budget. These comprehensive campaign finance reforms will combat the unprecedented influence of big money in politics and empower the voices of all New Yorkers. Video of the Governor announcing this proposal is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.
"For far too long, rich corporations and the wealthiest one percent have influenced our elections and drowned out the voices of ordinary New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "Now is the time to implement real campaign finance reform in New York. Let's overhaul our campaign financing system by incentivizing candidates to focus on small donors, not large corporations, and lowering campaign contribution limits and give the power back to New Yorkers once and for all."
Lowering Campaign Contribution Limits
Governor Cuomo is proposing lowering contribution limits for all candidates. By implementing these reforms, and creating a strong public financing system, New York will dramatically reduce the influence of money in politics and return to a government by the people and for the people. The proposal would amend contribution limits for candidates not participating in the public financing system, as follows:
- Statewide candidates would have a contribution limit of $25,000, or $10,000 for the primary and $15,000 for the general election. Currently, statewide candidates have a contribution limit of $44,000 for the general election. For the primary, the limit is equal to the total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party, excluding inactive voters, multiplied by $0.005, amounting up to $21,100, but at least $7,000.
- State Senate candidates would have a contribution limit of $10,000, or $5,000 each for the primary and general election. Currently, State Senate candidates have a contribution limit of $18,000, or $7,000 for the primary and $11,000 for the general election.
- State Assembly candidates would have a contribution limit of $6,000, or $3,000 each for the primary and the general election. Currently, State Assembly candidates have a contribution limit of $8,800, or $4,400 each for the primary and the general election
Public Financing of Elections
In New York's campaign finance system, there is currently no incentive for candidates to focus on ordinary donors. Large donors provide large donations, which drown out the voices of ordinary people. Public campaign financing is the remedy to this problem. By enacting a 6:1 public financing matching ratio for small donations, candidates will be incentivized to focus on small donors.