In reaction to Gov. David Paterson’s ethics reform package today, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said he has been supporting and sponsoring legislation for public financing of campaigns since 1986.
“It’s been passed by the Assembly about 10 times,” Silver said outside his Capitol office this afternoon. “The governor said he opposed it last year. If he had a change of mind, I welcome him. I’m still sponsoring a public campaign finance bill.”
While Paterson has supported public financing during his career, he has said since he became governor that he couldn’t push it because of its cost amid a fiscal crisis.
Silver said the Senate and Assembly are expected to soon reach a deal on ethics reform. The Assembly passed a series of measures in June, but the Senate has not.
“I think the governor knows we are working on a package with the Senate that we’re ready to unveil in a day or two or three. So I think the governor decided he was going to go first,” Silver said.
He added: “The governor decided he wants to be first. That’s fine.”