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NEW YORK—Today, the agency overseeing New York’s new small donor public financing program for state elections, beginning with the 2024 contests for Senate and Assembly, voted on its budget request for FY 2024-2025. The board’s commissioners approved a request totaling $39.5 million. The Public Campaign Finance Program matches modest donations from local residents to participating candidates, with the legislative purpose of ensuring “a government that is accountable to all of the voters of the state regardless of wealth or position.” The agency’s request includes $25 million for matching funds and $14.5 million for administrative support, including compliance oversight. The request also includes a reappropriation of funds remaining from the FY 2023-2024 budget.

In response, the Fair Elections for New York coalition issued the following statement:

“The Public Campaign Finance Board’s funding request for FY 2025 is an important first step. However, we urge Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie to provide at least $59.5 million for the program in the state’s next budget. That should include $45 million for matching funds and $14.5 million for administrative support.

Enrollment in the Public Campaign Finance Program has grown by half in just the last two months since the board calculated its request. More than 150 candidates have already enrolled in the program, with more likely to join before the February 26, 2024 deadline. This growth shows that more is needed to ensure that participating campaigns powered by everyday constituents can count on the program’s solvency and ability to provide them with the resources they need.

This funding will deliver on Albany’s promise to boost the voices of non-wealthy constituents in New York’s political process. At least $45 million for matching funds is essential to give New Yorkers and the candidates they support confidence that the program is a viable option for financing campaigns. 

$14.5 million for administrative support will enable the Public Campaign Finance Board to maintain the staffing and technical infrastructure necessary to run a reliable, publicly accountable program. It is essential for trainings, real-time assistance, and other educational materials for campaigns and the public. The resources are necessary to ensure that participating campaigns comply with contribution restrictions and transparency rules, while providing the support and technology to make compliance straightforward for resource-strapped campaigns.  

New York’s new Public Campaign Finance Program is the nation’s most powerful response to a political process dominated by megadonors. Adequate resources are necessary for this response to succeed, for New Yorkers and for all Americans who seek hope for our democracy.”

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