The Suffolk County Legislature has approved a measure that adds a deadline to the county’s public campaign finance law. The bill ensures the system will be operational by the 2021 election cycle.
The law uses revenue from Suffolk’s Off-Track Betting parlor to fund political campaigns for county executive and the county’s 18 legislative districts. It matches small-dollar donations 4 to 1. Deputy Presiding Officer Rob Calarco, who sponsored the bill, said the board overseeing the system has not yet formed, with three years before it’s supposed to be up and running.
“That may sound like’s it’s far away, we even have one cycle of elections in between, but we need to make sure we have the ability to have candidates know what the program is, what the baseline rules are so they can make decisions on whether they want to participate,” Calarco said.
Republicans opposed the bill saying public campaign financing would do nothing to reduce the influence of political donations in local races.