Cuomo to include public financing in budget plan

Cuomo to include public financing in budget plan

There’s some encouraging news today out of New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo apparently is ready to take another stab at reforming the Empire State’s scandal-ridden politics.

The New York Times reports that Cuomo will unveil a budget plan this week that includes funds for a public financing system for state political campaigns. The governor’s proposal also will provide money “to strengthen criminal statutes relating to bribery, tighten loophole-ridden campaign fund-raising laws and require legislators who hold second jobs outside the Legislature to disclose more about their work,” the newspaper said.

In a statement released after the Times report, Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner hailed the inclusion of public financing in Cuomo’s plan. “There is no excuse for continued failure (to act) in the face of such obvious malfeasance, and even more obvious solutions,” Lerner said. “Common Cause/NY is committed to working with the Governor and legislative leaders to stem the tide of corruption, and reduce the corrosive influence of money in politics.”

Common Cause lobbied aggressively for public financing in the legislature last year and has been instrumental in passing and defending it in states including Arizona, Connecticut and Maine.