With just days to go in the legislative session, Governor Andrew Cuomo has released his long-awaited bill to extend public financing of political campaigns to statewide races.
Cuomo's public campaign finance model for statewide races is based on the New York City system, and would be financed in part by a check off on state income taxes, and raiding the state's abandoned property fund.
The governor said the measure, combined with a bill to give district attorneys new powers to fight corruption, is needed to restore a fractured public trust following multiple scandals.
“The cumulative effect has been to give the people of the state the feeling that they can’t trust the government,” Cuomo said. “And that is a problem.”
Cuomo faces resistance from Republicans in the state Senate, who say public financing is a waste of the tax payer’s money and will only lead to more criminal activy.
Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos said he believes though that some kind of deal can be reached on a reform package.
Cuomo warns that if the legislature fails to agree by the end of the session, he’ll launch an investigation of them.