Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said today that the GOP is not open to public financing of state-level political campaigns, but said he’s open to other “reasonable” reform possibilities.
Speaking to reporters from Gannett and Capital Tonight, Skelos again scoffed at the idea of a publicly financed option for campaigns, labeling it a “non-starter.”
But when asked if he were open to stricter contribution limits or something similar, Skelos didn’t rule it out.
“I’m not going to answer as to those specific questions, but if there are certain reasonable things that we can do with campaign finance reform, I would seriously consider it,” he said. “But public financing I don’t agree with. As I said, it could be upwards of $200 million that better go to school districts and help with real property taxpayers.”
Meanwhile, the Nassau County Republican said his conference would put out a package of bills aimed at helping small businesses create jobs, including “creative” tax breaks and other incentives. Skelos said those bills would likely be out the week after next.
When asked if he would be open to trading some of those tax incentives for an increase in the minimum wage — a proposal being championed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — Skelos said he doesn’t want to link them.
“The Speaker has indicated that one shouldn’t be linked to the other. So I agree with him,” he said. “If he wants to create jobs, he’ll pass our tax credit bills. And certainly I don’t want to help hurt jobs, so we will not be passing his minimum wage bill.”