Assemblyman Steve Katz issued the following statement on his vote against campaign finance reform measures regarding public financing of campaigns.
Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,I-Yorktown) today voted against legislation to publicly-finance campaigns for the office of State Comptroller. Although the assemblyman supports campaign finance reform, he spoke out against the bill for lacking to contain specific provisions protecting taxpayer dollars from being misused by campaigns.
“As an Albany outsider myself, I had prepared myself for dysfunction – both in terms of the broken campaign process and in terms of how business is done in Albany. Unfortunately, I quickly learned there was nothing I could have done to truly prepare myself. Our state government is in dire need of reform and publicly-financed campaigns will help ensure that ‘regular’ New Yorkers have a fairer opportunity to participate in our state government,” said the assemblyman, who sought elected office as a veterinarian.
Assemblyman Katz continued, “However, as the residents of the 99th Assembly District have seen all too often in recent years, the use of campaign contributions is not currently being regulated strongly enough. Loopholes have allowed candidates to use their campaign contributions on everything from pool covers to vacations. In light of the current fiscal climate, we cannot ask taxpayers to foot the bill for the financing of any public office – especially when such legislation fails to strengthen protections of said taxpayer dollars.”
The legislation passed today, A.8367, or the Comptroller Campaign Finance Reform Act, would allow candidates for the office of State Comptroller the option of receiving publicly-financed matching campaign contributions. If enacted, the act would go into effect in time for the 2014 primary elections. Having passed the Assembly, the bill is now before the state Senate for their consideration.
Katz also issued the following statement on the passage of Assembly Bill 1428-B, which affects veterans and members of the military employed in the public sector.
There is never enough we can do to thank our military and veterans for their service to our nation. Unfortunately, loopholes in current state laws fail to protect the jobs of our military when troops are sent overseas or into active duty. I am proud to have co-sponsored legislation to correct this wrong, and would like to congratulate my friend and colleague, Assemblyman Bob Castelli, for passage of this important statewide measure.
Our military, both active and retired, have a strong voice in our chamber in Assemblyman Castelli, Ranker of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and I will continue working with him to ensure that the state defends and protects active military and veterans as they have protected all of us.