RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – The Suffolk County Legislature has adopted new amendments to the Campaign Finance Law that will create public funding of elections in Suffolk County. Introductory Resolution (IR) 1865-2018 was passed by a vote of 10 to 8 at the December 4th, 2018 General Meeting. The resolution was introduced by Deputy Presiding Officer Rob Calarco, who also sponsored IR 1975-2017 that established the original law, in order to create timelines and responsibilities for the Campaign Finance Board. The resolution will ensure that the Campaign Finance Fund is established by the 2021 election cycle when the law will go into effect.
The Campaign Finance Law was created last year in order to provide for public financing of elections in Suffolk County. Participating candidates running for County offices can receive 4-to-1 matching funds for small dollar donations from voters within their district. Additionally, candidates who receive matching funds agree to limit their spending and lower the maximum donation they may receive. The law will encourage greater voter participation in elections, make those elections more competitive, expanding access to more people to run for office and reduce the influence of big money donors. Matching funds will be available for qualifying County Legislative candidates in 2021 and for County Executive candidates in 2023.