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Advocates: New hope for campaign finance reform

ALBANY — Advocates for public campaign financing said Tuesday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s inclusion of election reforms in his budget proposal give them their best shot for success after decades of inaction.

A half-dozen good-government advocates held a news conference at the state Capitol aiming to keep up pressure on Cuomo and state lawmakers as they consider a broad set of election law changes. Cuomo in his budget proposed tougher election law enforcement, tighter contribution limits and a voluntary public financing proposal that would match each private dollar contributed with six in matching public funds up to $175.

The proposal is based on New York City’s model and is designed to make candidates less dependent on large contributions.

Prized by Democrats, public financing is opposed by Republicans who share control of the state Senate. The Republicans argue public financing would divert government funds from other needs, like schools.