Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers have agreed to a very limited form of campaign finance reform in the state budget, it would only apply to the state Comptroller’s race.
Advocates spent a million dollars on television ads and countless hours lobbying and holding demonstrations in favor of adopting a publicly funded, matching small donor system for statewide races, including the governor and the legislature.
Education funding advocates, including actress Cynthia Nixon, made a last minute pitch for extra money for schools in the state budget. Meanwhile, a new poll finds many New Yorkers think the quality of education in the state is deteriorating.
Tensions ran high at a closed door leaders meeting with Governor Cuomo.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos abruptly left the final leaders meeting before the weekend early, complaining there was too much emphasis on the needs of the New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio at the expense of the rest of the state.
“We have a problem right now,” Skelos said. “Hopefully we can work it out. But we’ll see.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who emerged around half an hour later from the Governor’s office, says the Senator was “rather agitated”, but claimed not to know why.
The Dream Act is dead for now in New York State, after the State Senate voted down the measure that would have granted college tuition aid to the children of undocumented immigrants. The 30 to 29 vote defeating the Dream Act left leaders of rival Democratic factions pointing fingers.
The New York Senate for the first time includes Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for public campaign financing in its budget resolution. The sparsely worded proposal has left supporters and opponents trying to sort through the political tea leaves.