Public campaign financing is a reform on the march. Recognizing it as the most powerful response to the last decade’s explosion of big money in politics, state and local governments have enacted new programs that will soon be fueling people-powered campaigns.
In New York State, candidates for statewide and legislative office will start opting in to the new small donor matching program as soon as this November. State legislators and Gov. Kathy Hochul set the program up for success earlier this week with an investment of $20.5 million in the state budget for program administration and future matching funds, a step towards securing a more equitable democracy in the state. The city of Baltimore and multiple Maryland counties will also implement their new programs soon.
These developments come on top of the other 14 states and 19 municipalities that have adopted public financing systems. Lawmakers and advocates are also pushing to bring new or strengthened programs to their communities, such as in Oregon, Arizona, and Maryland.