senate Bill S174A

Decreases contribution limits; repealer

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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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  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 28 / Mar / 2014
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO ELECTIONS
  • 28 / Mar / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 174A

Summary

Reduces campaign contributions limits for candidates for election to public office or party position.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A60A
Versions:
S174
S174A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §14-114, rpld §14-124 sub 3, El L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S44, A5878
2009-2010: S4549C, A8753A, S4549A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S174A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to
decreasing contribution limitations; and to repeal subdivision 3 of
section 14-124 of such law relating thereto

PURPOSE OF BILL:

To reduce campaign contributions limits for candidates for election to
public office or party position.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision 1 of section 14-114 of the
election law, as amended by chapter 79 of the laws of 1992, paragraphs
a and b as amended by chapter 659 of the laws of 1994, to lower
contribution limits for individuals or political action committees in
state and local elections as follows: statewide candidates from
$18,000 for primary and $37,800 for general election to $5,000 for per
election, i.e., $10,000 total; Senate candidates from $6,000 for
primary and $9,500 for general election to $2,400 per election, i.e.,
$4,800 total; for Assembly candidates from $3,800 for primary and
$3,800 for general election to $2,400 for each, i.e., $4,800 total;
and for local candidates, depending on office sought (except for
candidates for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president
or city council participating in New York City's public financing
program), ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the number of
enrolled voters on active status in the district. Beginning in 2014,
contribution limits will be adjusted annually to the nearest $100,
based on the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers as published
by U.S. Department of Labor.

Individual Limits to Current Law Bill Reduction Candidates Per
Election Cycle (also applies to PACs and Labor Organizations)

Statewide Candidates

Primary $18,000 $5,000 72%
General Election $37,800 $5,000 87%
Total $55,800 $10,000 82%

Senate Candidates

Primary $6,000 $2,400 62%
General Election $9,500 $2,400 76%
Total $15,500 $4,800 70%

Assembly Candidates

Primary $3,800 $2,400 39%
General Election $3,800 $2,400 39%
Total $7,600 $4,800 39%

Local Candidates Depending on Office Sought

Ranged From Ranges From


$1,000 $1,000
to to
$55,000 $55,000

Section 2 of the bill amends subdivision 8 of section 14-114 of the
election law, as amended by chapter 8 of the laws of 1978 and as
re-designated by chapter 9 of the laws of 1978, to lower the annual
individual aggregate contribution limit to all candidates, political
parties and political committees from $150,000 to $25,000.

Aggregate Limits in a Current Law Bill Calendar Year to Candidates and
Committees

Individuals $150,000 $25,000 83%
Corporations $5,000 $ 5,000 Same

Section 3 of the bill amends subdivision 10 of section 14-114 of the
election law, as added by chapter 79 of the laws of 1992, to lower the
annual aggregate contribution to political parties from $94,200 to
$25,000.

Aggregate Limits in a Current Law Bill Calendar Year to Party
Committees

Individuals $ 94,200 $25,000 73%
Labor Organizations $ 94,200 $25,000 73%
PACs $ 94,200 $25,000 73%

Section 4 of the bill repeals subdivision 3 of section 14-124 of the
election law in order to eliminate the ability to contribute unlimited
sums to so-called party committee "housekeeping accounts."

Section 5 of the bill establishes the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

It is widely believed that New York's campaign finance laws need
substantial revision to ensure the integrity of elections in the
state. This bill addresses one of the ways that New York's laws differ
significantly from the laws of other states that regulate campaign
contributions: the extremely high contributions that may be given to
candidates. For example, presently, a single contributor may give up
to $55,900 to a statewide 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. A single contributor can donate up to $15,500
to a candidate for the New York State Senate. This bill would, among
other provisions, reduce the allowable contribution amount to a
candidate for Governor to $5,000 for the primary and $5,000 for the
general election for a total of $10,000; and would reduce the
contribution limit for the state legislature to $2,400 for both the
primary and the general election, for a total of $4,800.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-10: S.4549C (Squadron) - Elections, A.08753 (Kavanagh) Election
Law


2012: Committee Discharged and Committed to Rules

FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
shall have become law; provided,that contributions legally received
prior to the effective date of this act may be retained and expended
for lawful purposes and shall not provide the basis for a violation of
article 14 of the election law, as amended by this act; and provided,
further, that the state board of elections shall notify all candidates
and political committees of the applicable provisions of this act
within thirty days after this act shall have become a law.

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

                                 174--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections  --  recommitted
  to the Committee on Elections in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8
  --  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended
  and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to decreasing contribution
  limitations; and to repeal subdivision 3 of section 14-124 of such law
  relating thereto

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

  Section  1.    Subdivision 1 of section 14-114 of the election law, as
amended by chapter 79 of the laws of 1992, paragraphs a and b as amended
by chapter 659 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
  1. The following limitations apply to all contributions to  candidates
for election to any public office or for nomination for any such office,
or  for  election  to  any  party positions, and to all contributions to
political committees working directly or indirectly with  any  candidate
to  aid or participate in such candidate's nomination or election, other
than any contributions to any party committee or constituted committee:
  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 thousand dollars nor more than [twelve] FIVE thousand
dollars  as  increased  or  decreased  by  the cost of living adjustment
described in paragraph c of this subdivision, and (ii) in  the  case  of

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00283-02-4

S. 174--A                           2

any  election to a public office, [twenty-five] FIVE thousand dollars as
increased or decreased by the cost of  living  adjustment  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 nomi-
nation to public office an amount  equivalent  to  the  product  of  the
number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the state, exclud-
ing  voters  in inactive status, multiplied by $.025, and in the case of
any election for a public office, an amount equivalent to the product of
the number of registered voters in the state excluding voters  in  inac-
tive 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[,];  BUT  IN NO EVENT SHALL ANY SUCH MAXIMUM EXCEED
THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR BE LESS THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS; however  in
the case of a nomination OR ELECTION within the city of New York for the
office of mayor, public advocate [or], comptroller, BOROUGH PRESIDENT OR
MEMBER  OF  THE  CITY  COUNCIL, such amount shall be [not less than four
thousand dollars nor more than twelve 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
thousand dollars as increased or decreased by the cost of living adjust-
ment described in paragraph c of this subdivision] EQUAL TO THE CONTRIB-
UTION  LIMITS  SET  FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (F) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION
3-703 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF  THE  CITY  OF  NEW  YORK;  PROVIDED
HOWEVER  in  the  case  of  a  nomination OR ELECTION for state senator,
[four] TWO thousand FOUR HUNDRED dollars as increased  or  decreased  by
the  cost of living adjustment described in paragraph c of this subdivi-
sion; [in the case of an election for state senator,  six  thousand  two
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] A nomination OR ELECTION for a member of the  assembly,
[twenty-five  hundred] TWO THOUSAND FOUR 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
thousand 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

S. 174--A                           3

$.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].
  c. At the beginning of each fourth calendar year, commencing in [nine-
teen  hundred  ninety-five] TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN, the state board shall
determine the percentage of the  difference  between  the  [most  recent
available   monthly]  consumer  price  index  for  all  urban  consumers
published by the United States  bureau  of  labor  statistics  and  such
consumer price index published for the same month four years previously.
The amount of each contribution limit fixed in this subdivision shall be
adjusted  by the amount of such percentage difference to the closest one
hundred dollars by the state board which, not later than the  first  day
of  February  in each such year, shall issue a regulation publishing the
amount of each such contribution limit. Each contribution  limit  as  so
adjusted shall be the contribution limit in effect for any election held
before the next such adjustment.
  S  2.  Subdivision 8 of section 14-114 of the election law, as amended
by chapter 8 of the laws of 1978 and as redesignated by chapter 9 of the
laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows:
  8. A. Except as may otherwise be provided [for] BY  a  candidate  [and
his  family] FOR HIS OR HER OWN CAMPAIGN, no NATURAL person may contrib-
ute, loan or guarantee in excess  of  [one  hundred  fifty]  TWENTY-FIVE
thousand  dollars  within  the state OF NEW YORK IN ANY CALENDAR YEAR in
connection with the nomination or election of  [persons  to]  CANDIDATES
FOR state [and] OR local public offices [and] OR party positions [within
the state of New York in any one calendar year].
  B.  For  the  purposes of this subdivision "loan" or "guarantee" shall
mean a loan or guarantee which is not repaid or discharged in the calen-
dar year in which it is made.
  S 3. Subdivision 10 of section 14-114 of the election law, as added by
chapter 79 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
  10. a. No contributor may make a contribution to a  party  or  consti-
tuted committee and no such committee may accept a contribution from any
contributor  which,  in the aggregate, is greater than [sixty-two] TWEN-
TY-FIVE thousand [five hundred] dollars per annum.
  b. At the beginning of each fourth calendar year, commencing in [nine-
teen hundred ninety-five] TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, the  state  board  shall
determine  the  percentage  of  the  difference  between the most recent
available monthly consumer price index for all urban consumers published
by the United States bureau of labor statistics and such consumer  price
index  published for the same month four years previously. The amount of
such contribution limit fixed in paragraph a of this  subdivision  shall
be  adjusted  by the amount of such percentage difference to the closest
one hundred dollars by the state board which, not later than  the  first
day  of  February in each such year, shall issue a regulation publishing
the amount of such contribution limit. Such  contribution  limit  as  so
adjusted shall be the contribution limit in effect for any election held
before the next such adjustment.
  S 4. Subdivision 3 of section 14-124 of the election law is REPEALED.
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it  shall  have  become  a  law;  provided,  that  contributions legally
received prior to the effective date of this act  may  be  retained  and
expended  for  lawful  purposes  and  shall  not provide the basis for a

S. 174--A                           4

violation of article 14 of the election law, as amended by this act; and
provided, further, that the state board of elections  shall  notify  all
candidates and political committees of the applicable provisions of this
act within thirty days after this act shall have become a law.

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