This Week in Albany

Week ending July 12, 2019

Taxpayer Funded Political Campaigns – Update

The 2019-20 state budget called for the establishment of a nine member commission to establish a system of taxpayer-financed political campaigns for legislative and statewide offices.

The members of the commission were announced last week. Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie each had two appointments, while Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb each received one. The Governor, Majority Leader, and Speaker jointly selected the final member.

Now that the commission is formed, it has until December 1 to determine the specifics of the public financing program. The commission is authorized to spend up to $100 million annually in public funds to match private campaign contributions. Once its report is submitted, it will be binding unless the legislature acts before December 22.

The commission will be holding public hearings, the details of which will be shared when available. CSEA strongly opposes the creation of a public financing system.

Legislative Update

This year, 935 bills passed both houses of the state legislature, a significant increase over the 606 that passed during the first year of the prior legislative session in 2017.

CSEA successfully advocated for a number of these bills. From now until the end of December, bills will be sent to the Governor for his signature or veto. Keep track of the progress of CSEA’s legislative priorities on our website.