With funding approved in the state budget, a new program that matches small-dollar donations could allow candidates to run campaigns supported by everyday New Yorkers.

by David Moore, Sludge

Campaigns for state offices in New York have long relied on wealthy donors and special interests for their funding, but more will soon be powered by small-dollar donations from everyday New Yorkers.

In the New York state budget they passed this week, lawmakers included $39.5 million in funding for the state’s new public campaign financing program. The Brennan Center for Justice and other campaign finance reform advocates applauded the funding’s approval.

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The program, which will be in effect starting in the 2024 elections, will offer candidates public matching funds for small contributions they raise, amplifying small-dollar donations of up to $250. Candidates for statewide office who choose to participate in the program would be eligible for public matching funds of $1,500 for a $250 contribution, while candidates for state legislative office would be eligible for a public match of up to $2,300 for a $250 contribution.

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