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Signing Bill For Presidential Primary, Cuomo Nudges Lawmakers On Unified Date

In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “a bill setting New York’s presidential primary for next April 28 was signed into law Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who used the measure’s approval as another occasion to push lawmakers to unify the state’s congressional and state primaries to the same date.

In a signing statement attached to the approval message, Cuomo urged lawmakers to take up primary consolidation legislation when the session reconvenes in January.”

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Calls To Keep Fusion Voting, Create Robust Public Matching System at First Hearing of State Campaign Finance Commission

Gotham Gazette’s Samar Khurshid reports “The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission heard many hours of testimony on Tuesday from experts, government reform advocates, elected officials, and others on creating a new statewide system of electoral campaign financing that would encourage small contributions and curb the effects of wealthy donors.

At what was its first public hearing of several planned for the next few weeks, the commission also explored questions around how fusion voting — where more than one political party can nominate the same candidate for an elected office — interplays with such a system and whether it could legally be eliminated under the commission’s mandate.”

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Counties Relieved As Cuomo Administration Releases Early-Voting Funding

In the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Jon Campbell reports “New York’s plan to distribute $10 million in state money to help counties implement early voting received final approval Thursday, ending a week of uncertainty for county governments who feared they would have to pick up the tab.

The approval from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Budget Division came after a week of quarreling with the state Board of Elections, which warned counties last week that only 22% of the funding had been approved.”

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Good-Government Groups Want Focus On Public Financing, Not Fusion Voting

Nick Reisman reports in State of Politics “A coalition of good-government groups on Wednesday released a letter to the campaign finance commission tasked with recommending changes to the state’s election laws, urging the panel to focus on devising a public financing system, and not be “distracted” by issues like overhauling or ending fusion voting.

The letter, released by Citizens Union, the League of Women Voters, the New York Public Interest Research Group and Reinvent Albany, questions the scope of the commission’s authority for completely ending fusion voting, which allows candidates for office run on multiple ballot lines.”

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State Campaign Financing Commission Holds First Public Meeting

Ethan Geringer-Sameth covers the first state commission meeting in the Gotham Gazette:

“The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission, tasked with devising a voluntary system of public funding for state elections, held its first meeting Wednesday at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan. The commission has inspired a measure of optimism among government reformers that it will limit the influence of money in state elections and reduce pay-to-play politics that have long defined state government.”

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Campaign Financing Commission Scheduled To Meet

In the Times Union, David Lombardo reports that ” (t)he commission empowered to radically overhaul election financing in New York is scheduled to hold its first meeting on Wednesday.

The state Public Campaign Financing Commission, which was created in this year’s state budget, will meet at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan at 1 p.m. to discuss organizational matters, according to the agenda released on Sunday. Commissioners are not scheduled to accept public comment during the meeting.”

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James Says New York Should Defend Census Count Against Alabama Challenge

From Nick Reisman in State of Politics, “New York should lead a legal defense of the U.S. Census counting non citizens in its upcoming count of the population next year, Attorney General Letitia James said on Monday.

The counting of non-citizens residing in the United States was challenged last May by the state of Alabama and a congressman from the state. The defendant in the case is formally the U.S. Department of Commerce, but New York is moving to intervene in the case.

New York is intervening under the pretense that President Donald Trump’s administration will not muster an adequate defense of the Census. Trump withdrew an effort to require a citizenship question on the Census, which advocates worried could lead to an undercount.”

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