Public financing of campaigns is necessary to be included in a budget agreement, but is “complicated” by the number of people who would run in legislative elections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

Cuomo at a Capitol press conference noted the 17 candidates in the February election for public advocate in New York City.

“Part of public finance is it makes it easier for people to run, which is a good thing and part of the purpose of public finance,” Cuomo said. “Seventeen candidates, when you have public finance. You know, so start to factor it out, you have about 213 state legislators. How many candidates will you have? Let’s say the person runs on multiple lines.”

He threw out the hypothetical of multiple primaries on a Democratic, Working Families, Independent and Reform Party ballot lines.

“How many races are we potentially talking about? How much does it cost?” Cuomo said. “Who’s doing the compliance on all these issues? The Board of Elections? Which has nowhere near this capacity now. What is the effect of the multiple lines and multiple races? Do you fund all those multiple lines in the primary and then all those multiple lines in the general? So it’s necessary, it’s right, but it’s complicated.”

Does this mean he would be supportive of ending fusion voting?

“Fusion voting has not come up,” Cuomo said.

The state Democratic Committee, backing an effort supported by the party’s Progressive Caucus, approved a non-binding resolution ending fusion voting. The resolution was approved over the objections of some Democratic lawmakers as well as the Working Families Party.

Cuomo added, “the multiple lines complicates the public financing.”

This appears, potentially, as the embryonic stages of offering a trade: Ending fusion voting in exchange for public campaign financing.

At the same time, Cuomo offered something of an exit ramp for public financing when it comes to identifying a source of revenue.

“I think there has to be public financing in this budget. It’s another issue I’ve been talking about for seven years,” he said. “Now could you say we’ll identify the financing, we’ll write a law that commits to it but we’ll figure out the compliance, the details, the lines afterwards? You could probably do something like that if you couldn’t get it all done. But I believe you have to commit to it in the budget.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie last week told reporters the necessary votes for the public campaign financing, which has been approved in the chamber before, were yet to reach a majority of the Democratic conference.