Post Budget Legislative Session
The legislature returned to Albany this week to begin the post-budget session. Several issues will be on their agenda, including possible minimum wage increase, mandate relief, reproductive health and an issue the League has been advocating for decades – campaign finance reform.
The League has had meetings with the Speaker’s office and the Republican majority office in the Senate and most recently, with a new group of organizations striving for what is now being called, Fair Elections. For the first time on this issue, the state League is working with large, diverse group of other organizations from around the state and a couple of national organizations. Some of these organizations have substantial resources available to assist in advocacy campaign. This group has created a website for Fair Elections (http://www.fairelectionsny.org/) and has received a lot of media attention in the past couple of weeks. The League has been quoted or included in some, but not all of the media coverage. I also spoke at a press conference earlier this week on this issue; look at the website for photos and the press release from this press conference.
A Comptroller’s bill of 3 years ago which provides public funding for the election of the Comptroller only will be introduced next week by the Assembly. Speaker Silver is expected to introduce a more comprehensive bill next week as well. The League has stressed to the organizations and the legislature that effective enforcement, lower contribution limits, and robust disclosure must be included in any legislation that provides for public financing of elections. See the state League’s Campaign Finance Reform page under Advocacy on the website (http://lwvny.org/advocacy/reform/govReform_campaignFinance.html) for information on the League’s position.
We anticipate that these two bills will be on the agenda for the Elections Committee meeting next week. Stay tuned for updates.