DiNapoli Calls for Senate Action on Campaign Finance Reform Bill
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli called on the New York State Senate to pass his legislative proposal for public financing of campaigns for the Office of State Comptroller. The legislation passed the State Assembly Tuesday.
“The Assembly took a major step toward restoring public trust in state government," DiNapoli said. "The Senate should take that same step. The public perception is that the huge campaign contributions allowable under State law can buy influence at the expense of the public interest. It’s time to change that equation.”
"Public campaign financing is the best way to eliminate even the appearance of undue influence from big campaign contributions and any reform agenda is not complete without campaign finance reform for state elections. The Comptroller's office is the perfect place to start.”
The legislation was sponsored in the Assembly by Speaker Sheldon Silver, a long-time supporter of public campaign financing.
Under DiNapoli's bill, spending limits for primary and general elections for Comptroller starting in 2014 would be capped at $5 million and $7.5 million dollars respectively and contributions would be limited to a maximum of $2,000.
DiNapoli's legislation establishes an independent Campaign Finance Fund Board to monitor and audit the program and enforce its provisions. It would be composed of one member appointed by the Governor and each legislative leader of both houses and two members appointed by the Governor upon consultation with the leaders of non-partisan citizens' groups. One of these members would be designated as the chair.
The legislation imposes strict limits on how public funds could be spent and the board would have enforcement powers at its disposal to permit it to recover funds wrongfully or mistakenly paid to a candidate and to seek civil and criminal penalties against those who have violated the law.