senate Bill S7479A
(D) 15th Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Requires entities advertising for or against political candidates, ballot proposals, amendments, or such proceedings to disclose in such advertisements the source thereof; trade associations must disclose top 3 contributors; defines trade association.
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the election law, in relation to the disclosure of
sources for political advertisements
The purpose of this bill is to ensure that the public is fully
informed of the sources of political advertisements in support of or
in opposition to a candidate, or a ballot proposal or constitutional
amendment, in order to prevent the sponsors of such communications
from concealing their interests in the outcome by acting through third
parties, such as trade associations.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section 1: Adds a new election law section Sec. 14-107, which defines
independent expenditures and those affected by the bill, such as trade
associations, and requires that whenever a person or trade association
makes an independent expenditure of more than one thousand dollars for
a political advertisement or other communication to the general
public, the one paying for it must be identified, and the
communication must state that it is not authorized by the candidate or
his or her committee. If the sponsor is a trade association, it must
disclose its three largest contributors since January first of the
year in which the advertisement is published, and, if the
advertisement is made with respect to a presidential primary race, it
must disclose the three largest contributors since July first of the
year before the primary. Willful violation of these provisions is
punishable by a civil penalty of up to $1,000 or the cost of the
communication, whichever is greater, and the attorney general is given
concurrent jurisdiction with district attorneys to prosecute such
Section 2: Provides that the Act takes effect immediately.
EXISTING LAW :
This bill is a response to the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which effectively
eliminated restrictions on corporations' ability to spend corporate
treasury funds in support of or in opposition to political candidates,
political parties and ballot issues. Disclosure of corporate funding
of political advertising is viewed by many as at least a partial
solution, as it will empower the press to investigate the interests
being served by the political advertising, and allow the public to
make informed decisions regarding the weight to be given to such
advertising. Because recent statements by some corporate leaders have
indicated that they would try to hide their political expenditures by
contributing to trade associations that could buy political
advertisements without disclosing the source of their funding, this
bill requires that such trade associations disclose in any such
advertisements their three largest contributors.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
None to the state.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE :
This bill is effective immediately.
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