senate Bill S590A
(D, IP, WF) 44th Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Provides that contributions made by any person, firm, association or corporation to a member of the state legislature which are intended to be used by such member or on behalf of such member for the payment of legal services and other charges in connection with the legal defense of such member in any past or pending civil or criminal action shall be subject to similar monetary limitations and disclosure requirements set forth in the election law pertaining to campaign contributions.
TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the public officers law and the legislative law,
in relation to the
receipt of monies
by members of the legislature for purposes of legal defense
Requires disclosure of monies received by members of the legislature
for the purposes of legal defense.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one (1) requires legislators to disclose any special defense
fund contributions to the Legislative Ethics Commission (2) defines
contribution and applies to contributions made on or after January 1,
2012 (3)requires that any anonymous contributions received by a
legislator for his/her defense fund turned over to the state
comptroller for deposit into the state treasury.
Section 2 amends the legislative law to include and define legal
defense fund contributions among gifts from family, household or
Section 3 requires the Legislative Ethics Commission to post such
disclosure information on its website.
Section 4 states that this act shall take effect immediately provided
that that section one of this act shall be deemed to have been in
full force and effect on and after January 1, 2012.
There is currently a loophole in state ethics regulations which allows
for those in office to create legal defense funds. This allows
supporters to make donations to help lawmakers with their personal
legal bills. Although the Legislative Ethics Commission can approve
the creation of a special defense fund outside the gift ban, the
contribution amounts and contributors are kept secret from the
public. This bill would help to close this loophole and require full
disclosure. Donation amounts and donor identities will no longer be
Although it is unethical to allow contributions to pay for any bills
for an incident which results from a lawmaker's private conduct,
ridding this practice of its anonymity is the first step in
addressing this situation.
2009/2010: S.6260A Remained in Senate Committee on Finance
Immediately, with provisions.
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