ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) 

TEENS PREREGISTERING TO VOTE

It’s about to become easier for teens to get ready to vote once they’re of age.

Starting Jan. 1, New York is allowing individuals 16 years or older to preregister to vote.

Once those individuals turn 18, the Board of Elections will automatically register them to vote.

PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCE

Lawmakers missed a December deadline to block a politically appointed commission’s plan to use public money to fund campaigns in New York.

The plan has drawn scrutiny from Republicans and Democrats alike who are expected to fine-tune the plan’s details next year. And lawmakers will have time to make changes. Commissioners delayed the program four years for state legislative races and six years for statewide races.

New Yorkers who give $250 or less would see their donations matched with public funds 6 to 1 for statewide office candidates such as governor. So a $100 donation would be worth $700 to a candidate.

Donations to local candidates would also be matched: 12 to 1 for the first $50, 9 to 1 for the next $100 and 8 to 1 for the final $100.

Candidates will face limits of $5,000 per donor for Assembly races and $10,000 for Senate races, down from roughly $9,000 and $19,000. New York’s campaign finance limits are the highest in the country, and federal presidential candidates can raise $5,600 from a single donor.

Voting rights groups have called New York’s plan a big step forward but said lawmakers should lower limits political contributions and ensure independent oversight of the system.

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