senate Bill S53

Relates to maximum contributions for candidates

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS

Summary

Relates to maximum contributions for candidates.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5876
Versions:
S53
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง14-114, El L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S4542, A624
2007-2008: A9097

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S53

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the election law, in relation to contribution limitations

PURPOSE:
To reduce campaign contribution limits for candidates for election to
a party position or public office or for nomination to public office
where current contribution limits exceed $9,500 for candidates for
election or $6,000 for candidates for nomination.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The bill would set contribution limits for campaigns for statewide
office or citywide office in New York City at $9,500 for candidates
for election or $6,000 for candidates for nomination (or between
$2,000 and $6,000 for minor party candidates, based on an existing
formula that is unchanged by this bill). This bill would not affect
local laws currently in place in New York City, which currently set
limits for citywide candidates that are lower than the limits in
state law.

JUSTIFICATION:
It is widely believed that our campaign finance laws need substantial
changes to ensure the integrity of elections in our state. This bill
does not address the broad range of issues that might be addressed in
a comprehensive reform package, but it does address one of the most
dramatic ways that our state's laws depart from the laws of other
states that regulate campaign contributions: the extraordinarily high
contributions that may be given to statewide candidates. Presently a
single contributor may give up to $55,900 to a candidate during a
single election cycle ($18,100 for the primary and $37,800 for the
general election). This figure is the highest among any of the 45
states that place limits on campaign contributions.

While there has been a welcome movement toward voluntary limits on
contributions that statewide officials will accept, it is important
that the legislature take steps to reduce the excessive
contributions currently permitted by law, even if there is no
agreement on other measures that might be adopted to reform the
campaign finance system.

Similarly, while the City of New York has adopted lower limits in
local law, the state law still permit $55,900 in contributions to a
candidate in a single election cycle. This bill would not affect the
city's campaign finance system, but would reduce the exorbitant
limits currently in state law for citywide elections.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.4542 (Squadron) - Third Reading, A.624 (Kavanagh) - Election
Law
2009: S.4542 (Squadron) - Elections, A.624 (Kavanagh) - Election
Law
2008: A.9097 (Kavanagh) - Election Law
2007: A.9097 (Kavanagh) - Election Law


FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the
date on which it shall have become law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   53

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections

AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation  to  contribution  limita-
  tions

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraphs a and b of subdivision 1 of  section  14-114  of
the  election  law,  as  amended by chapter 659 of the laws of 1994, are
amended to read as follows:
  a. In any election for a public office to be voted on by the voters of
the entire state, or for nomination to any such office,  no  contributor
may  make a contribution to any candidate or political committee, and no
candidate or political committee may accept any  contribution  from  any
contributor,  which is in the aggregate amount greater than:  (i) in the
case of any nomination to public office, the product of the total number
of enrolled voters in the candidate's  party  in  the  state,  excluding
voters in inactive status, multiplied by $.005, but such amount shall be
not  less  than  [four]  TWO thousand dollars nor more than [twelve] SIX
thousand dollars as increased or decreased by the cost of living adjust-
ment described in paragraph c of this subdivision, and (ii) in the  case
of  any  election  to  a public office, [twenty-five] NINE thousand FIVE
HUNDRED dollars as increased or decreased by the cost of living  adjust-
ment  described  in  paragraph  c of this subdivision; provided however,
that the maximum amount which may be so contributed or accepted, in  the
aggregate,  from any candidate's child, parent, grandparent, brother and
sister, and the spouse of any such persons, shall not exceed in the case
of any nomination to public office an amount equivalent to  the  product
of  the number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the state,
excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by  $.025,  and  in  the
case  of  any  election for a public office, an amount equivalent to the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00052-01-1

S. 53                               2

product of the number of registered voters in the state excluding voters
in inactive status, multiplied by $.025.
  b.  In  any  other  election  for  party position or for election to a
public office or for nomination for any such office, no contributor  may
make  a  contribution  to  any  candidate  or political committee and no
candidate or political committee may accept any  contribution  from  any
contributor,  which  is in the aggregate amount greater than: (i) in the
case of any election for party position, or  for  nomination  to  public
office, the product of the total number of enrolled voters in the candi-
date's  party  in  the  district  in  which he is a candidate, excluding
voters in inactive status, multiplied by $.05, and (ii) in the  case  of
any  election  for  a  public office, the product of the total number of
registered voters in the district, excluding voters in inactive  status,
multiplied  by $.05, however in the case of a nomination within the city
of New York for the office of mayor,  public  advocate  or  comptroller,
such  amount shall be not less than [four] TWO thousand dollars nor more
than [twelve] SIX thousand dollars as increased or decreased by the cost
of living adjustment described in paragraph c of  this  subdivision;  in
the  case  of  an election within the city of New York for the office of
mayor, public advocate or comptroller, [twenty-five] NINE thousand  FIVE
HUNDRED  dollars as increased or decreased by the cost of living adjust-
ment described in paragraph c of this subdivision;  in  the  case  of  a
nomination  for  state senator, [four] SIX thousand dollars as increased
or decreased by the cost of living adjustment described in  paragraph  c
of this subdivision; in the case of an election for state senator, [six]
NINE  thousand  [two]  FIVE  hundred  [fifty]  dollars  as  increased or
decreased by the cost of living adjustment described in paragraph  c  of
this  subdivision; in the case of an election or nomination for a member
of the assembly, [twenty-five] THREE THOUSAND EIGHT hundred  dollars  as
increased  or  decreased  by  the cost of living adjustment described in
paragraph c of this subdivision; but in no event shall any such  maximum
exceed  [fifty]  NINE  thousand FIVE HUNDRED dollars or be less than one
thousand dollars; provided however, that the maximum amount which may be
so contributed or accepted,  in  the  aggregate,  from  any  candidate's
child,  parent,  grandparent,  brother and sister, and the spouse of any
such persons, shall not exceed in the case of  any  election  for  party
position  or  nomination  for  public office an amount equivalent to the
number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in  the  district  in
which he is a candidate, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied
by  $.25  and  in  the  case of any election to public office, an amount
equivalent to the number of registered voters in the district, excluding
voters in inactive status, multiplied by $.25; or twelve  hundred  fifty
dollars,  whichever  is  greater,  or  in  the  case  of a nomination or
election of a state  senator,  twenty  thousand  dollars,  whichever  is
greater,  or  in the case of a nomination or election of a member of the
assembly twelve thousand five hundred dollars, whichever is greater, but
in no event shall any such maximum exceed one hundred thousand dollars.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next  succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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