A collection of progressive activists, labor unions and other organizations want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include public financing of elections in the executive budget proposal he will unveil Tuesday.
The groups, including Americans for Campaign Reform, Citizen Action of New York, New York Leadership for Accountable Government and the Working Families Party, sent a letter to Cuomo this week asking the governor to make public campaign financing a priority in his annual budget message.
"In the State of the State address, you correctly recognized the imperative to fight for a package of reforms which includes public financing of elections, the reform that is so critical to ending Albany's 'show me the money' culture," the coalition wrote. "The state budget process allows the best opportunity for making campaign finance reform a reality in 2014."
Cuomo has previously supported public financing of elections, including a push last year to implement such a system. But Republicans in the state Legislature aren't fans of taxpayers paying for political campaigns and don't believe it would address any of the corruption problems that have plagued Albany for years.
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But progressive groups advocating for public financing of elections believe it would help address public corruption.
"New Yorkers have waited long enough for action on curbing corruption and reducing the undue influence and role of campaign money in state government," the groups wrote in their letter. "In particular, two specific reforms with fiscal impacts, a public financing of elections system and an independent enforcement unit, need funding starting this year."
While it's unclear if Cuomo will include public financing in his budget proposal, he did repeat his support for public financing of elections in an interview Friday on "The Capitol Pressroom" with Susan Arbetter.
"It's a priority and we're working very hard to do it," Cuomo said. "You know I worked very hard last year. If I'm unsuccessful in the Legislature, I'll make it an issue on the campaign in November."
Budget address Tuesday
Cuomo will deliver his 2014-15 budget address at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Albany.
We will provide live analysis and updates during the governor's address. Check auburnpub.com after the budget address for reaction from Cayuga County's state representatives.
Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.