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New campaign finance rules announced

Dec 02, 2019 12:43 am
Denis Slattery reports in the New York Daily News that the nine-member Public Campaign Financing Commission released new campaign finance laws Dec. 1 that take effect next year unless the legislature holds a special session and votes them down. Or, since the new election rules don't go into effect really until the November 2020 election, the legislature could repeal them, or rewrite the rules, in the next legislative session. Or if any part of these rules are thrown out in court, the whole thing is tossed, as the commissioners voted to link everything together. The new rules include a cap on contributions for statewide races at $18,000, down from the current $70,000. Contributions for Assembly races will be capped at $5,000 and state Senate races at $10,000 under the new rules. And parties will need a minimum of 130,000 votes every two years to remain on the ballot, probably eliminating the Working Families Party and several other ballot lines. There is also a new campaign financing plan in the report, with in-district donations of $250 or less matched. For statewide races, the match ratio is 6:1. For legislative races, the first $50 will be matched at a 12:1 ratio, the next $100 at 9:1 and the final $50 at 8:1. New York State Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan denounced the new laws. "This Commission, which all Senate Democrats voted for and every Senate Republican voted against, allowed unelected appointees to make new law through backroom deals. Taking money out of the campaign finance system was nothing more than a ruse, since Democrats kept high contribution limits in place." Read more about this story in the New York Daily News.