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Taxpayers to foot bill for state political campaigns if Cuomo gets way

Taxpayers will be on the hook to fund state political campaigns if Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets his way as the budget battle in Albany continues.

The plan will cost more than $500 million over the next four years, a dubious Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) estimated.

“We just finished putting together a budget where we were scrimping and saving trying to find pennies in the couch to pay for things and programs that matter to people,” he told reporters Friday night.

But Cuomo is insisting on the measure, which he says will boost the influence of ordinary voters and reduce the sway of corporate interests.

“I believe public financing has to be in the budget,” he said.

Cuomo’s plan would give qualified candidates $6 of taxpayer money for every dollar they raise from small donations up to $175.

It would cap individual donations to $25,000 for statewide races — a steep drop from the $70,000 currently allowed — and would lower the limits that can be given to state senate and assembly candidates as well.

But with an expected $2.3 billion dollar drop in state revenues this year, some lawmakers say it’s a luxury the state can’t afford.

Instead, the budget might include some incremental steps toward Cuomo’s campaign finance goal, such as contribution limits, but hold off a full-fledged program until 2024.

“This is about getting corrosive influences of money, large donations, out,” said Assemblyman Bobby Carroll (D-Brooklyn).

ViaNyPost

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