With funding approved in the state budget, a new program that matches small-dollar donations could allow candidates to run campaigns supported by everyday New Yorkers.
A new Brennan Center analysis found that New York City's small-dollar matching program was key in electing record numbers of women and people of color to City Council.
Public campaign financing programs in states and cities across the country have grown in use by candidates and have been strengthened by voters in recent years.
Voters in Baltimore County will soon have their say on a ballot measure that would join several other large Maryland counties, as well as the city of Baltimore, in adopting a voluntary public financing program for elections.
Nearly three-quarters of contributions in state elections come from large donors and PACs, but small-dollar donations could make up that share if states move to adopt public financing for campaigns.
With the state's public financing system not yet in place, New York candidates going up against entrenched incumbents face new fundraising challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.