senate Bill S44

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Decreases contribution limits; repealer

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 12, 2012 committee discharged and committed to rules
Feb 27, 2012 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 04, 2012 referred to elections
Jan 05, 2011 referred to elections

S44 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5878
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §14-114, rpld §14-124 sub 3, El L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S4549C, A8753A, S4549A

S44 - Bill Texts

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

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BILL NUMBER:S44

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 the election 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 2012, 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 $3,000

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

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.

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

                                   44

                       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 decreasing contribution
  limitations; and to repeal subdivision 3  of  section  14-124  of  the
  election 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
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-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00015-01-1

S. 44                               2

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
$.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. 44                               3

  c. At the beginning of each fourth calendar year, commencing in [nine-
teen hundred ninety-five] TWO THOUSAND TWELVE,  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 THIRTEEN, 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
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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