Brooklyn – On Tuesday the Assembly passed the 2010 Campaign Finance Reform Act (A.8902), legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman. As the newly-appointed chair of the Assembly Election Law Committee, Assemblywoman Millman also led the debate on the Assembly floor in favor of the bill. This sweeping campaign finance reform measure will apply to all elected state officials by providing optional public financing of campaigns. In addition, the bill will set limits on the amount of money political parties can spend or transfer to participating candidates, set detailed prohibitions on what public funds can be used for, ensure candidates without an opponent do not receive public funds, and create a $5 income tax check-off box to help build a non-partisan, New York State Campaign Financing Fund for eligible candidates.
“This legislation levels the playing field for candidates in New York’s campaigns, allowing challengers and incumbents to compete fairly while capping the amount of public funds that can be expended,” Millman said. “On the Assembly floor, I debated the merits of the bill in order to convince my colleagues to vote for a measure that many of their own constituents support. It is critical that we adopt measures to prevent special interests from playing such an important role in the work of state legislators.”
The time frame for enacting this bill would begin with the 2010 New York State Comptroller’s election. In 2014, the program would be extended to include the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and Constitutional Delegate. Finally, in 2016, candidates for New York State Assembly and Senate would also be eligible to opt into the public financing program.