senate Bill S876A

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Provides for a state board of elections enforcement unit and counsel

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Feb 13, 2012 print number 876a
amend and recommit to elections
Jan 04, 2012 referred to elections
Apr 05, 2011 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 05, 2011 referred to elections

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

S876 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6391A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§3-100, 3-102 & 3-104, El L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S7506, S7538, A11640

S876 - Bill Texts

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Provides for a state board of elections enforcement unit and counsel.

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BILL NUMBER:S876

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the election law,
in relation to
providing for a state board of elections enforcement unit and
counsel

SUMMARY AND DESCRIPTION OF PROVISIONS:
The bill creates a campaign finance enforcement unit within the State
Board of Elections and makes the office of campaign finance
enforcement counsel a four-year term. It also makes the office of
special counsel the other legal unit at the SBOE - a four-year term,
and codifies the requirement that the deputy in each unit be a member
of the opposite political party than the counsel.

The bill changes the way that campaign finance enforcement matters are
processed at the SBOE by requiring three of the four SBOE
commissioners to vote to stop an investigation by the enforcement
counsel, rather than requiring, as current law does, three votes to
begin an investigation.

The bill mandates that all votes to stop an investigation, or to act
on the recommendation of the enforcement counsel after an
investigation, occur in public.

The bill codifies an enforcement unit within the State Board of
Elections (SBOE) with a mandate that at least 35 percent of the
SBOE's annual budget be dedicated to the unit to promote increased
enforcement of campaign finance laws.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.7538/A.11640

JUSTIFICATION:
This bill will promote increased enforcement and compliance with the
state's campaign finance laws by codifying an enforcement unit within
the SBOE and ensuring the unit's independence by giving it a fixed
four year term. Furthermore, unlike the status quo, the SBOE will be
required under this bill to vote affirmatively to stop a campaign
finance investigation from proceeding, and requires that such
decision be made in public. These measures will create, for the first
time, meaningful enforcement at the State Board of Elections to
pursue campaign finance violations.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
The State of New York shall appropriate at least 35% of the State
Board of Elections' annual budget to the enforcement unit charged
enforcement of state campaign finance laws.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act takes effect immediately.


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

                                   876

                       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 providing for  a  state
  board of elections enforcement unit and counsel

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 3-100  of  the  election  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  220  of  the  laws  of 2005, is amended to read as
follows:
  3. The commissioners of the state board of  elections  shall  have  no
other public employment. The commissioners shall receive an annual sala-
ry  of  twenty-five  thousand dollars, within the amounts made available
therefor by appropriation. The board shall, for the purposes of sections
seventy-three and seventy-four of the public officers law, be  a  "state
agency",  and  such commissioners shall be "officers" of the state board
of elections for the purposes of such sections. Within the amounts  made
available  by appropriation therefor, the state board of elections shall
appoint two co-executive directors, [counsel] AN ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL,  A
DEPUTY  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL, WHO SHALL BE A MEMBER OF A DIFFERENT MAJOR
POLITICAL PARTY THAN THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL, A SPECIAL COUNSEL, A DEPU-
TY SPECIAL COUNSEL, WHO SHALL BE A MEMBER OF A DIFFERENT MAJOR POLITICAL
PARTY THAN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL, A DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPERATIONS,  A
DEPUTY  DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPERATIONS,  WHO  SHALL BE A MEMBER OF A
DIFFERENT MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY THAN  THE  DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPER-
ATIONS,  A  DIRECTOR  OF PUBLIC INFORMATION, A DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC
INFORMATION, WHO SHALL BE A MEMBER OF A DIFFERENT MAJOR POLITICAL  PARTY
THAN  THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION and such other staff members as
are necessary in the exercise  of  its  functions,  and  may  fix  their
compensation.  [Anytime  after  the effective date of the chapter of the
laws of two thousand five  which  amended  this  subdivision,  the]  THE

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04075-01-1

S. 876                              2

commissioners or, in the case of a vacancy on the board, the commission-
er of each of the major political parties shall appoint one co-executive
director.  Each  co-executive director shall serve a term of four years.
THE  ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL AND THE SPECIAL COUNSEL SHALL EACH SERVE A TERM
OF FOUR YEARS AND MAY ONLY BE REMOVED FOR CAUSE.   ANY  TIME  AFTER  THE
EFFECTIVE  DATE  OF THE CHAPTER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND TEN AMENDING
THIS SUBDIVISION, THE COMMISSIONERS, OR IN THE CASE OF A VACANCY ON  THE
BOARD,  THE  COMMISSIONER,  OF EACH OF THE SAME MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY AS
THE INCUMBENT ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL, DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL,  SPECIAL
COUNSEL, DEPUTY SPECIAL COUNSEL, DIRECTOR OF ELECTION OPERATIONS, DEPUTY
DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPERATIONS,  DIRECTOR  OF PUBLIC INFORMATION AND
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC  INFORMATION,  SHALL  APPOINT  SUCH  COUNSELS,
DIRECTORS AND DEPUTIES. Any vacancy in the office of co-executive direc-
tor,  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL, DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL, SPECIAL COUNSEL,
DEPUTY SPECIAL COUNSEL, DIRECTOR OF ELECTION OPERATIONS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR
OF ELECTION OPERATIONS, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION AND DEPUTY DIREC-
TOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION, shall be filled by the commissioners  or,  in
the  case  of a vacancy on the board, the commissioner of the same major
political party as the vacating incumbent for the  remaining  period  of
the  term  of  such  vacating incumbent, FOR THE REMAINING PERIOD OF THE
TERM OF SUCH VACATING INCUMBENT.
  S 2. Subdivision 3, paragraph (c) of subdivision 9-A  and  subdivision
17  of  section  3-102  of  the  election  law, subdivisions 3 and 17 as
amended by chapter 9 of the laws of 1978, paragraph (c)  of  subdivision
9-A  as  added  by chapter 430 of the laws of 1997 and subdivision 17 as
renumbered by chapter 23 of the laws of 2005, are  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  3.  conduct any investigation necessary to carry out the provisions of
this chapter, PROVIDED, HOWEVER,  THAT  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL, ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION 3-104 OF THIS ARTI-
CLE, SHALL CONDUCT ANY INVESTIGATION NECESSARY TO ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS
OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS;
  (c) establish [a] AN EDUCATIONAL AND training program on ALL REPORTING
REQUIREMENTS INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO the electronic reporting proc-
ess  and  make  it EASILY AND READILY available to any such candidate or
committee AND NOTIFY ANY SUCH CANDIDATE OR COMMITTEE OF THE AVAILABILITY
OF THE MOST RECENT CAMPAIGN FINANCE HANDBOOK;
  17.   HEAR AND CONSIDER THE RECOMMENDATIONS  OF  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL REGARDING THE ENFORCEMENT OF VIOLATIONS OF
ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER;
  18.  perform  such  other  acts  as  may be necessary to carry out the
purposes of this chapter.
  S 3. Section 3-104 of the election law, subdivisions 1, 3, 4 and 5  as
redesignated  and  subdivision  2 as amended by chapter 9 of the laws of
1978, is amended to read as follows:
  S 3-104. State board of elections AND THE  STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS
ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL;  enforcement powers.  1. (A) THERE SHALL BE A UNIT
KNOWN AS THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT UNIT ESTABLISHED WITH-
IN THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. THE HEAD OF  SUCH  UNIT  SHALL  BE  THE
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL.
  (B)  The  state  board of elections shall have jurisdiction of, and be
responsible for, the execution and  enforcement  of  the  provisions  of
[article   fourteen  of  this  chapter  and  other]  statutes  governing
campaigns, elections and related procedures; PROVIDED HOWEVER  THAT  THE
ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL SHALL HAVE SOLE AUTHORITY WITHIN THE STATE BOARD OF
ELECTIONS TO INVESTIGATE ON HIS OR HER OWN INITIATIVE OR UPON COMPLAINT,

S. 876                              3

ALLEGED  VIOLATIONS  OF  ARTICLE  FOURTEEN  OF  THIS  CHAPTER  AND   ALL
COMPLAINTS  ALLEGING  ARTICLE  FOURTEEN VIOLATIONS SHALL BE FORWARDED TO
THE ENFORCEMENT UNIT. NOTHING IN THIS  SECTION  SHALL  BE  CONSTRUED  TO
DIMINISH OR ALTER THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS' JURISDICTION PURSUANT TO
THIS CHAPTER.
  2.  Whenever  [the state board of elections or other] A LOCAL board of
elections shall determine, on its own initiative or upon  complaint,  or
otherwise,  that  there  is substantial reason to believe a violation of
this chapter or  any  code  or  regulation  promulgated  thereunder  has
[occurred]  BEEN  COMMITTED  BY  A CANDIDATE OR POLITICAL COMMITTEE THAT
FILES STATEMENTS OR IS REQUIRED TO DO SO PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF
THIS CHAPTER SOLELY WITH SUCH LOCAL BOARD, it shall  expeditiously  make
an  investigation  which shall also include investigation of reports and
statements made or failed to be made by the complainant  and  any  poli-
tical  committee supporting his candidacy if the complainant is a candi-
date or, if the complaint was made by an officer or member  of  a  poli-
tical  committee, of reports and statements made or failed to be made by
such political committee and any candidates supported by it. [The  state
board  of elections, in lieu of making such an investigation, may direct
the appropriate board of elections to make an investigation.] The  state
board of elections may request, and shall receive, the assistance of the
state police in any investigation it shall conduct.
  3.  [If, after an investigation, the state or other board of elections
finds reasonable cause to believe that a violation  warranting  criminal
prosecution  has taken place, it shall forthwith refer the matter to the
district attorney of the appropriate county and shall make available  to
such  district  attorney  all  relevant papers, documents, testimony and
findings relevant to its investigation.
  4. The state or other  board  of  elections  may,  where  appropriate,
commence  a judicial proceeding with respect to the filing or failure to
file any statement of receipts, expenditures,  or  contributions,  under
the  provisions  of  this  chapter, and the state board of elections may
direct the  appropriate  other  board  of  elections  to  commence  such
proceeding.
  5.]   IF THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL DETERMINES THAT A VIOLATION OF SUBDI-
VISION ONE OF SECTION 14-126 OF THIS CHAPTER HAS  OCCURRED  WHICH  COULD
WARRANT  A CIVIL PENALTY, THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL, UPON HIS OR HER
DISCRETION, SEEK TO RESOLVE THE MATTER EXTRA-JUDICIALLY  OR  COMMENCE  A
SPECIAL  PROCEEDING  IN  THE SUPREME COURT PURSUANT TO SECTION 16-114 OF
THIS CHAPTER.
  4. UPON RECEIPT OF A COMPLAINT AND SUPPORTING INFORMATION OR AN INTER-
NAL REFERRAL FROM THE ENFORCEMENT UNIT ALLEGING ANY OTHER  VIOLATION  OF
ARTICLE  FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER, THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL ANALYZE
THE FACTS AND THE LAW RELEVANT TO SUCH COMPLAINT OR REFERRAL  TO  DETER-
MINE  IF  AN INVESTIGATION SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN. THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL
SHALL, IF NECESSARY, REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM THE COMPLAINANT
TO ASSIST SUCH COUNSEL IN MAKING THIS DETERMINATION. SUCH ANALYSIS SHALL
INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: FIRST, WHETHER THE ALLEGATIONS,  IF  TRUE,  WOULD
CONSTITUTE  A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER AND, SECOND,
WHETHER THE ALLEGATIONS ARE SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE.
  5.  IF  THE  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL  DETERMINES  THAT  THE   ALLEGATIONS
CONTAINED  IN  A COMPLAINT, IF TRUE, WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF
ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF  THIS  CHAPTER  OR  THAT  THE  ALLEGATIONS  ARE  NOT
SUPPORTED  BY  CREDIBLE EVIDENCE, HE OR SHE SHALL: (A) NOTIFY THE DEPUTY
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL OF SUCH DETERMINATION AND (B)  PUBLICLY  NOTIFY  THE
STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS OF SUCH DETERMINATION. IF THE STATE BOARD OF

S. 876                              4

ELECTIONS PUBLICLY DETERMINES, AS PROVIDED IN THIS TITLE, THAT THE ALLE-
GATIONS, IF TRUE, WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF  ARTICLE  FOURTEEN  OF
THIS CHAPTER AND THAT THE ALLEGATIONS APPEAR TO BE SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE
EVIDENCE, IT SHALL DIRECT THAT THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL CONDUCT AN INVES-
TIGATION.  LACKING  SUCH  A DETERMINATION, THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL
ISSUE A LETTER TO THE COMPLAINANT DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT.
  6. IF THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL  DETERMINES  THAT  THE  ALLEGATIONS,  IF
TRUE,  WOULD  CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER
AND THAT THE ALLEGATIONS APPEAR TO BE SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE, HE
OR SHE SHALL: (A) NOTIFY THE DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL OF  (I)  HIS  OR
HER  INTENT TO RESOLVE THE MATTER EXTRA-JUDICIALLY DUE TO THE DE MINIMUS
NATURE OF THE VIOLATION; OR (II) HIS OR HER INTENT TO COMMENCE AN INVES-
TIGATION, AND (B) PUBLICLY NOTIFY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS  OF  SUCH
INTENT  NO  LATER  THAN  THE  BOARD'S  NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETING.
NOTIFICATION SHALL SUMMARIZE THE RELEVANT FACTS AND THE  APPLICABLE  LAW
AND  SHALL,  TO  THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, PROTECT FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE THE
IDENTITY OF THE COMPLAINANT AND THE INDIVIDUAL SUBJECT TO THE COMPLAINT.
THE DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW  THE
ENTIRE  FILE  OF ANY PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY THE ENFORCE-
MENT COUNSEL A MINIMUM OF TEN DAYS PRIOR  TO  SAID  REGULARLY  SCHEDULED
MEETING OF THE BOARD AND TO SUBMIT A PUBLIC, WRITTEN CONCURRENCE WITH OR
DISSENT FROM THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL'S PROPOSAL.
  7.  IF, UPON CONSIDERING THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL'S NOTICE OF INTENT TO
COMMENCE AN INVESTIGATION AND THE DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL'S RECOMMEN-
DATION, THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS BELIEVES THAT THE  ALLEGATIONS,  IF
TRUE, WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAP-
TER,  OR THE ALLEGATIONS ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OR, THAT
ON BALANCE, THE EQUITIES FAVOR A DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT,  THE  BOARD
SHALL  PUBLICLY  DIRECT THAT AN INVESTIGATION NOT BE UNDERTAKEN NO LATER
THAN SIXTY DAYS AFTER THE RECEIPT OF NOTIFICATION FROM  THE  ENFORCEMENT
COUNSEL  OF HIS OR HER INTENT TO COMMENCE AN INVESTIGATION. IN DETERMIN-
ING WHETHER THE EQUITIES FAVOR A DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT,  THE  STATE
BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTORS: (A) WHETHER THE
COMPLAINT  ALLEGES  A  DE  MINIMUS VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS
CHAPTER; (B) WHETHER THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT HAS MADE A GOOD  FAITH
EFFORT  TO  CORRECT  THE  VIOLATION;  AND (C) WHETHER THE SUBJECT OF THE
COMPLAINT HAS A HISTORY OF SIMILAR VIOLATIONS.   DETERMINATIONS  OF  THE
STATE  BOARD  OF ELECTIONS TO DISMISS A COMPLAINT AND NOT PROCEED WITH A
FORMAL INVESTIGATION SHALL BE VOTED UPON AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION FOUR
OF SECTION 3-100 OF THIS TITLE AT AN OPEN MEETING  PURSUANT  TO  ARTICLE
SEVEN  OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, AND SHALL BE MADE ON A FAIR AND EQUI-
TABLE BASIS AND WITHOUT REGARD TO THE  STATUS  OF  THE  SUBJECT  OF  THE
COMPLAINT.
  8.  ABSENT A TIMELY DETERMINATION BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS THAT
AN INVESTIGATION SHALL NOT BE UNDERTAKEN, THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL  SHALL
COMMENCE  AN INVESTIGATION ON A TIMELY BASIS. IF THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL
DETERMINES THAT ADDITIONAL INVESTIGATIVE  POWERS,  AS  PROVIDED  FOR  IN
SUBDIVISIONS  FOUR,  FIVE  AND  SIX  OF SECTION 3-102 OF THIS TITLE, ARE
NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE COUNSEL'S INVESTIGATION, HE OR SHE SHALL  REQUEST
SUCH  ADDITIONAL  POWERS  FROM THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. SUCH POWERS
SHALL BE GRANTED BY THE BOARD IN PUBLIC ONLY WHEN THE BOARD  FINDS  THAT
FURTHER INVESTIGATION IS WARRANTED AND JUSTIFIED.
  9.  AT  THE  CONCLUSION  OF ITS INVESTIGATION, THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL
SHALL PROVIDE THE DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL  AND  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS  WITH  A WRITTEN RECOMMENDATION AS TO: (A) WHETHER SUBSTANTIAL
REASON EXISTS TO BELIEVE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER

S. 876                              5

HAS OCCURRED AND, IF SO, THE NATURE OF THE VIOLATION AND ANY  APPLICABLE
PENALTY,  AS  DEFINED  IN  SECTION  14-126 OF THIS CHAPTER, BASED ON THE
NATURE OF THE VIOLATION; (B)  WHETHER  THE  MATTER  SHOULD  BE  RESOLVED
EXTRA-JUDICIALLY;  (C)  WHETHER A SPECIAL PROCEEDING SHOULD BE COMMENCED
IN THE SUPREME COURT TO RECOVER A  CIVIL  PENALTY;  AND  (D)  WHETHER  A
REFERRAL  SHOULD  BE MADE TO A DISTRICT ATTORNEY PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION
ELEVEN OF THIS SECTION BECAUSE REASONABLE  CAUSE  EXISTS  TO  BELIEVE  A
VIOLATION  WARRANTING  CRIMINAL  PROSECUTION HAS TAKEN PLACE. THE DEPUTY
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE ENTIRE FILE
OF ANY INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL A  MINIMUM  OF
TEN  DAYS  PRIOR TO SAID REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETING OF THE BOARD AND TO
SUBMIT A PUBLIC, WRITTEN CONCURRENCE WITH OR DISSENT FROM  THE  ENFORCE-
MENT COUNSEL'S RECOMMENDATION.
  10.  THE  STATE  BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL ACCEPT, MODIFY OR REJECT THE
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL'S RECOMMENDATION NO  LATER  THAN  SIXTY  DAYS  AFTER
RECEIPT  OF  SUCH RECOMMENDATION. IN MAKING ITS DETERMINATION, THE BOARD
SHALL AGAIN CONSIDER: (A) WHETHER THE COMPLAINT  ALLEGES  A  DE  MINIMUS
VIOLATION  OF  ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER; (B) WHETHER THE SUBJECT
OF THE COMPLAINT HAS MADE A GOOD FAITH EFFORT TO CORRECT THE  VIOLATION;
AND  (C)  WHETHER  THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT HAS A HISTORY OF SIMILAR
VIOLATIONS. ALL SUCH DETERMINATIONS SHALL BE VOTED UPON AS  PROVIDED  IN
SUBDIVISION  FOUR  OF  SECTION  3-100  OF  THIS TITLE AT AN OPEN MEETING
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SEVEN OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, AND SHALL BE  MADE
ON  A  FAIR  AND  EQUITABLE  BASIS,  WITHOUT REGARD TO THE STATUS OF THE
SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT.
  11. (A) IF THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS  DETERMINES,  AS  PROVIDED  IN
SUBDIVISION  TEN  OF  THIS  SECTION,  THAT  SUBSTANTIAL REASON EXISTS TO
BELIEVE THAT A PERSON, ACTING AS OR ON BEHALF OF A  CANDIDATE  OR  POLI-
TICAL  COMMITTEE  UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES EVINCING AN INTENT TO VIOLATE SUCH
LAW, HAS UNLAWFULLY ACCEPTED A CONTRIBUTION IN EXCESS OF A  CONTRIBUTION
LIMITATION  ESTABLISHED IN ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER, WHICH COULD
WARRANT A CIVIL PENALTY AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF  SECTION
14-126  OF  THIS  CHAPTER,  THE BOARD SHALL DIRECT THE COMMENCEMENT OF A
SPECIAL PROCEEDING IN THE SUPREME COURT.
  (B) IF THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS DETERMINES, AS PROVIDED IN  SUBDI-
VISION  TEN  OF  THIS  SECTION THAT REASONABLE CAUSE EXISTS TO BELIEVE A
VIOLATION WARRANTING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION HAS  TAKEN  PLACE,  THE  BOARD
SHALL  REFER  THE MATTER TO A DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE
TO SUCH DISTRICT ATTORNEY ALL PAPERS, DOCUMENTS, TESTIMONY AND  FINDINGS
RELEVANT TO ITS INVESTIGATION.
  12.  UPON NOTIFICATION THAT A SPECIAL PROCEEDING HAS BEEN COMMENCED BY
A PARTY OTHER THAN THE STATE BOARD OF  ELECTIONS,  PURSUANT  TO  SECTION
16-114  OF  THIS  CHAPTER, THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL DIRECT THE
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNLESS  OTHER-
WISE DIRECTED BY THE COURT.
  13.  THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL PREPARE A REPORT, TO BE INCLUDED IN
THE ANNUAL REPORT TO  THE  GOVERNOR  AND  LEGISLATURE,  SUMMARIZING  THE
ACTIVITIES  OF  THE  UNIT  DURING  THE  PREVIOUS YEAR. SUCH REPORT SHALL
INCLUDE: (A) THE NUMBER  OF  COMPLAINTS  RECEIVED;  (B)  THE  NUMBER  OF
COMPLAINTS  THAT WERE FOUND TO NEED INVESTIGATION AND THE NATURE OF EACH
COMPLAINT; AND (C) THE NUMBER OF MATTERS THAT HAVE BEEN RESOLVED.    THE
REPORT  SHALL  NOT  CONTAIN  ANY INFORMATION FOR WHICH DISCLOSURE IS NOT
PERMITTED.
  14. The state board of elections may promulgate rules and  regulations
consistent with law to effectuate the provisions of this section.

S. 876                              6

  S  4.  The state of New York shall appropriate during each fiscal year
to the New York state board of elections enforcement unit, not less than
thirty-five percent of the appropriation available from the general fund
for the state board of  elections  to  pay  for  the  expenses  of  such
enforcement unit.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

Co-Sponsors

S876A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6391A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§3-100, 3-102 & 3-104, El L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S7506, S7538, A11640

S876A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides for a state board of elections enforcement unit and counsel.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S876A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to provid-
ing for a state board of elections enforcement unit and counsel

SUMMARY AND DESCRIPTION OF PROVISIONS: The bill creates a campaign
finance enforcement unit within the State Board of Elections and makes
the office of campaign finance enforcement counsel a four-year term. It
also makes the office of special counsel the other legal unit at the
SBOE - a four-year term, and codifies the requirement that the deputy in
each unit be a member of the opposite political party than the counsel.

The bill changes the way that campaign finance enforcement matters are
processed at the SBOE by requiring three of the four SBOE commissioners
to vote to stop an investigation by the enforcement counsel, rather than
requiring, as current law does, three votes to begin an investigation.

The bill mandates that all votes to stop an investigation, or to act on
the recommendation of the enforcement counsel after an investigation,
occur in public.

The bill codifies an enforcement unit within the State Board of
Elections (SBOE) with a mandate that at least 35 percent of the SBOE's
annual budget be dedicated to the unit to promote increased enforcement
of campaign finance laws.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.7538/A.11640

JUSTIFICATION: This bill will promote increased enforcement and compli-
ance with the state's campaign finance laws by codifying an enforcement
unit within the SBOE and ensuring the unit's independence by giving it a
fixed four year term. Furthermore, unlike the status quo, the SBOE will
be required under this bill to vote affirmatively to stop a campaign
finance investigation from proceeding, and requires that such decision
be made in public. These measures will create, for the first time, mean-
ingful enforcement at the State Board of Elections to pursue campaign
finance violations.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The State of New York shall appropriate at least
35% of the State Board of Elections annual budget to the enforcement
unit charged enforcement of state campaign finance laws.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act takes effect immediately.

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

                                 876--A

                       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  --  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 providing for  a  state
  board of elections enforcement unit and counsel

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 3-100  of  the  election  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  220  of  the  laws  of 2005, is amended to read as
follows:
  3. The commissioners of the state board of  elections  shall  have  no
other public employment. The commissioners shall receive an annual sala-
ry  of  twenty-five  thousand dollars, within the amounts made available
therefor by appropriation. The board shall, for the purposes of sections
seventy-three and seventy-four of the public officers law, be  a  "state
agency",  and  such commissioners shall be "officers" of the state board
of elections for the purposes of such sections. Within the amounts  made
available  by appropriation therefor, the state board of elections shall
appoint two co-executive directors, [counsel] AN ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL,  A
DEPUTY  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL, WHO SHALL BE A MEMBER OF A DIFFERENT MAJOR
POLITICAL PARTY THAN THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL, A SPECIAL COUNSEL, A DEPU-
TY SPECIAL COUNSEL, WHO SHALL BE A MEMBER OF A DIFFERENT MAJOR POLITICAL
PARTY THAN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL, A DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPERATIONS,  A
DEPUTY  DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPERATIONS,  WHO  SHALL BE A MEMBER OF A
DIFFERENT MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY THAN  THE  DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPER-
ATIONS,  A  DIRECTOR  OF PUBLIC INFORMATION, A DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC
INFORMATION, WHO SHALL BE A MEMBER OF A DIFFERENT MAJOR POLITICAL  PARTY
THAN  THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION and such other staff members as

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04075-04-2

S. 876--A                           2

are necessary in the exercise  of  its  functions,  and  may  fix  their
compensation.  [Anytime  after  the effective date of the chapter of the
laws of two thousand five  which  amended  this  subdivision,  the]  THE
commissioners or, in the case of a vacancy on the board, the commission-
er of each of the major political parties shall appoint one co-executive
director.  Each  co-executive director shall serve a term of four years.
THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL AND THE SPECIAL COUNSEL SHALL EACH SERVE A  TERM
OF  FOUR  YEARS  AND  MAY ONLY BE REMOVED FOR CAUSE.  ANY TIME AFTER THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHAPTER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND TWELVE  AMEND-
ING  THIS SUBDIVISION, THE COMMISSIONERS, OR IN THE CASE OF A VACANCY ON
THE BOARD, THE COMMISSIONER, OF EACH OF THE SAME MAJOR  POLITICAL  PARTY
AS  THE  INCUMBENT  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL,  DEPUTY  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL,
SPECIAL COUNSEL, DEPUTY SPECIAL  COUNSEL,  DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPER-
ATIONS,  DEPUTY  DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPERATIONS,  DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC
INFORMATION AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF  PUBLIC  INFORMATION,  SHALL  APPOINT
SUCH  COUNSELS,  DIRECTORS  AND  DEPUTIES.  Any vacancy in the office of
co-executive director, ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL, DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL,
SPECIAL  COUNSEL,  DEPUTY  SPECIAL  COUNSEL,  DIRECTOR OF ELECTION OPER-
ATIONS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR  OF  ELECTION  OPERATIONS,  DIRECTOR  OF  PUBLIC
INFORMATION  AND  DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION, shall be filled
by the commissioners or, in the case of a  vacancy  on  the  board,  the
commissioner of the same major political party as the vacating incumbent
for the remaining period of the term of such vacating incumbent, FOR THE
REMAINING PERIOD OF THE TERM OF SUCH VACATING INCUMBENT.
  S  2.  Subdivision 3, paragraph (c) of subdivision 9-A and subdivision
17 of section 3-102 of the  election  law,  subdivisions  3  and  17  as
amended  by  chapter 9 of the laws of 1978, paragraph (c) of subdivision
9-A as added by chapter 430 of the laws of 1997 and  subdivision  17  as
renumbered  by  chapter  23  of the laws of 2005, are amended to read as
follows:
  3. conduct any investigation necessary to carry out the provisions  of
this  chapter,  PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT  THE  STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL, ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION 3-104 OF THIS ARTI-
CLE, SHALL CONDUCT ANY INVESTIGATION NECESSARY TO ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS
OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS;
  (c) establish [a] AN EDUCATIONAL AND training program on ALL REPORTING
REQUIREMENTS INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO the electronic reporting proc-
ess and make it EASILY AND READILY available to any  such  candidate  or
committee AND NOTIFY ANY SUCH CANDIDATE OR COMMITTEE OF THE AVAILABILITY
OF THE MOST RECENT CAMPAIGN FINANCE HANDBOOK;
  17.    HEAR  AND  CONSIDER  THE  RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE STATE BOARD OF
ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL REGARDING THE ENFORCEMENT OF VIOLATIONS OF
ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER;
  18. perform such other acts as may  be  necessary  to  carry  out  the
purposes of this chapter.
  S  3. Section 3-104 of the election law, subdivisions 1, 3, 4 and 5 as
redesignated and subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 9 of  the  laws  of
1978, is amended to read as follows:
  S  3-104.  State  board  of elections AND THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL; enforcement powers.  1. (A) THERE SHALL BE  A  UNIT
KNOWN AS THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT UNIT ESTABLISHED WITH-
IN  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS. THE HEAD OF SUCH UNIT SHALL BE THE
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL.
  (B) The state board of elections shall have jurisdiction  of,  and  be
responsible  for,  the  execution  and  enforcement of the provisions of
[article  fourteen  of  this  chapter  and  other]  statutes   governing

S. 876--A                           3

campaigns,  elections  and related procedures; PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT THE
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL HAVE SOLE AUTHORITY WITHIN THE STATE BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS TO INVESTIGATE ON HIS OR HER OWN INITIATIVE OR UPON COMPLAINT,
ALLEGED   VIOLATIONS  OF  ARTICLE  FOURTEEN  OF  THIS  CHAPTER  AND  ALL
COMPLAINTS ALLEGING ARTICLE FOURTEEN VIOLATIONS SHALL  BE  FORWARDED  TO
THE  ENFORCEMENT  UNIT.  NOTHING  IN  THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO
DIMINISH OR ALTER THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS' JURISDICTION PURSUANT TO
THIS CHAPTER.
  2. Whenever [the state board of elections or other] A LOCAL  board  of
elections  shall  determine, on its own initiative or upon complaint, or
otherwise, that there is substantial reason to believe  a  violation  of
this  chapter  or  any  code  or  regulation  promulgated thereunder has
[occurred] BEEN COMMITTED BY A CANDIDATE  OR  POLITICAL  COMMITTEE  THAT
FILES STATEMENTS OR IS REQUIRED TO DO SO PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF
THIS  CHAPTER  SOLELY WITH SUCH LOCAL BOARD, it shall expeditiously make
an investigation which shall also include investigation of  reports  and
statements  made  or  failed to be made by the complainant and any poli-
tical committee supporting his candidacy if the complainant is a  candi-
date  or,  if  the complaint was made by an officer or member of a poli-
tical committee, of reports and statements made or failed to be made  by
such  political committee and any candidates supported by it. [The state
board of elections, in lieu of making such an investigation, may  direct
the  appropriate board of elections to make an investigation.] The state
board of elections may request, and shall receive, the assistance of the
state police in any investigation it shall conduct.
  3. [If, after an investigation, the state or other board of  elections
finds  reasonable  cause to believe that a violation warranting criminal
prosecution has taken place, it shall forthwith refer the matter to  the
district  attorney of the appropriate county and shall make available to
such district attorney all relevant  papers,  documents,  testimony  and
findings relevant to its investigation.
  4.  The  state  or  other  board  of elections may, where appropriate,
commence a judicial proceeding with respect to the filing or failure  to
file  any  statement  of receipts, expenditures, or contributions, under
the provisions of this chapter, and the state  board  of  elections  may
direct  the  appropriate  other  board  of  elections  to  commence such
proceeding.
  5.]  IF THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL DETERMINES THAT A VIOLATION OF  SUBDI-
VISION  ONE  OF  SECTION 14-126 OF THIS CHAPTER HAS OCCURRED WHICH COULD
WARRANT A CIVIL PENALTY, THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL, UPON HIS OR  HER
DISCRETION,  SEEK  TO  RESOLVE THE MATTER EXTRA-JUDICIALLY OR COMMENCE A
SPECIAL PROCEEDING IN THE SUPREME COURT PURSUANT TO  SECTION  16-114  OF
THIS CHAPTER.
  4. UPON RECEIPT OF A COMPLAINT AND SUPPORTING INFORMATION OR AN INTER-
NAL  REFERRAL  FROM THE ENFORCEMENT UNIT ALLEGING ANY OTHER VIOLATION OF
ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER, THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL  ANALYZE
THE  FACTS  AND THE LAW RELEVANT TO SUCH COMPLAINT OR REFERRAL TO DETER-
MINE IF AN INVESTIGATION SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN. THE  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL
SHALL, IF NECESSARY, REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM THE COMPLAINANT
TO ASSIST SUCH COUNSEL IN MAKING THIS DETERMINATION. SUCH ANALYSIS SHALL
INCLUDE  THE  FOLLOWING:  FIRST, WHETHER THE ALLEGATIONS, IF TRUE, WOULD
CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER AND,  SECOND,
WHETHER THE ALLEGATIONS ARE SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE.
  5.   IF  THE  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL  DETERMINES  THAT  THE  ALLEGATIONS
CONTAINED IN A COMPLAINT, IF TRUE, WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE A  VIOLATION  OF
ARTICLE  FOURTEEN  OF  THIS  CHAPTER  OR  THAT  THE  ALLEGATIONS ARE NOT

S. 876--A                           4

SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE, HE OR SHE SHALL: (A) NOTIFY  THE  DEPUTY
ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL  OF  SUCH DETERMINATION AND (B) PUBLICLY NOTIFY THE
STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS OF SUCH DETERMINATION. IF THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS PUBLICLY DETERMINES, AS PROVIDED IN THIS TITLE, THAT THE ALLE-
GATIONS,  IF  TRUE,  WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF
THIS CHAPTER AND THAT THE ALLEGATIONS APPEAR TO BE SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE
EVIDENCE, IT SHALL DIRECT THAT THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL CONDUCT AN INVES-
TIGATION. LACKING SUCH A DETERMINATION, THE  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL  SHALL
ISSUE A LETTER TO THE COMPLAINANT DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT.
  6.  IF  THE  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL  DETERMINES THAT THE ALLEGATIONS, IF
TRUE, WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF  THIS  CHAPTER
AND THAT THE ALLEGATIONS APPEAR TO BE SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE, HE
OR  SHE  SHALL:  (A) NOTIFY THE DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL OF (I) HIS OR
HER INTENT TO RESOLVE THE MATTER EXTRA-JUDICIALLY DUE TO THE DE  MINIMUS
NATURE OF THE VIOLATION; OR (II) HIS OR HER INTENT TO COMMENCE AN INVES-
TIGATION,  AND  (B) PUBLICLY NOTIFY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS OF SUCH
INTENT NO LATER THAN  THE  BOARD'S  NEXT  REGULARLY  SCHEDULED  MEETING.
NOTIFICATION  SHALL  SUMMARIZE THE RELEVANT FACTS AND THE APPLICABLE LAW
AND SHALL, TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, PROTECT FROM  PUBLIC  DISCLOSURE  THE
IDENTITY OF THE COMPLAINANT AND THE INDIVIDUAL SUBJECT TO THE COMPLAINT.
THE  DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE
ENTIRE FILE OF ANY PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY  THE  ENFORCE-
MENT  COUNSEL  A  MINIMUM  OF TEN DAYS PRIOR TO SAID REGULARLY SCHEDULED
MEETING OF THE BOARD AND TO SUBMIT A PUBLIC, WRITTEN CONCURRENCE WITH OR
DISSENT FROM THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL'S PROPOSAL.
  7. IF, UPON CONSIDERING THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL'S NOTICE OF INTENT  TO
COMMENCE AN INVESTIGATION AND THE DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL'S RECOMMEN-
DATION,  THE  STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS BELIEVES THAT THE ALLEGATIONS, IF
TRUE, WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAP-
TER, OR THE ALLEGATIONS ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OR,  THAT
ON  BALANCE,  THE EQUITIES FAVOR A DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT, THE BOARD
SHALL PUBLICLY DIRECT THAT AN INVESTIGATION NOT BE UNDERTAKEN  NO  LATER
THAN  SIXTY  DAYS AFTER THE RECEIPT OF NOTIFICATION FROM THE ENFORCEMENT
COUNSEL OF HIS OR HER INTENT TO COMMENCE AN INVESTIGATION. IN  DETERMIN-
ING  WHETHER  THE EQUITIES FAVOR A DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT, THE STATE
BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTORS: (A) WHETHER THE
COMPLAINT ALLEGES A DE MINIMUS VIOLATION OF  ARTICLE  FOURTEEN  OF  THIS
CHAPTER;  (B) WHETHER THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT HAS MADE A GOOD FAITH
EFFORT TO CORRECT THE VIOLATION; AND (C)  WHETHER  THE  SUBJECT  OF  THE
COMPLAINT  HAS  A  HISTORY OF SIMILAR VIOLATIONS.  DETERMINATIONS OF THE
STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO DISMISS A COMPLAINT AND NOT PROCEED  WITH  A
FORMAL INVESTIGATION SHALL BE VOTED UPON AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION FOUR
OF  SECTION  3-100  OF THIS TITLE AT AN OPEN MEETING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE
SEVEN OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, AND SHALL BE MADE ON A FAIR AND  EQUI-
TABLE  BASIS  AND  WITHOUT  REGARD  TO  THE STATUS OF THE SUBJECT OF THE
COMPLAINT.
  8. ABSENT A TIMELY DETERMINATION BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS  THAT
AN  INVESTIGATION SHALL NOT BE UNDERTAKEN, THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL
COMMENCE AN INVESTIGATION ON A TIMELY BASIS. IF THE ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL
DETERMINES  THAT  ADDITIONAL  INVESTIGATIVE  POWERS,  AS PROVIDED FOR IN
SUBDIVISIONS FOUR, FIVE AND SIX OF SECTION  3-102  OF  THIS  TITLE,  ARE
NEEDED  TO COMPLETE THE COUNSEL'S INVESTIGATION, HE OR SHE SHALL REQUEST
SUCH ADDITIONAL POWERS FROM THE STATE BOARD OF  ELECTIONS.  SUCH  POWERS
SHALL  BE  GRANTED BY THE BOARD IN PUBLIC ONLY WHEN THE BOARD FINDS THAT
FURTHER INVESTIGATION IS WARRANTED AND JUSTIFIED.

S. 876--A                           5

  9. AT THE CONCLUSION OF ITS  INVESTIGATION,  THE  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL
SHALL  PROVIDE  THE  DEPUTY  ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL AND THE STATE BOARD OF
ELECTIONS WITH A WRITTEN RECOMMENDATION AS TO: (A)  WHETHER  SUBSTANTIAL
REASON EXISTS TO BELIEVE A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER
HAS  OCCURRED AND, IF SO, THE NATURE OF THE VIOLATION AND ANY APPLICABLE
PENALTY, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 14-126 OF  THIS  CHAPTER,  BASED  ON  THE
NATURE  OF  THE  VIOLATION;  (B)  WHETHER  THE MATTER SHOULD BE RESOLVED
EXTRA-JUDICIALLY; (C) WHETHER A SPECIAL PROCEEDING SHOULD  BE  COMMENCED
IN  THE  SUPREME  COURT  TO  RECOVER  A CIVIL PENALTY; AND (D) WHETHER A
REFERRAL SHOULD BE MADE TO A DISTRICT ATTORNEY PURSUANT  TO  SUBDIVISION
ELEVEN  OF  THIS  SECTION  BECAUSE  REASONABLE CAUSE EXISTS TO BELIEVE A
VIOLATION WARRANTING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION HAS TAKEN  PLACE.  THE  DEPUTY
ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE ENTIRE FILE
OF  ANY  INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL A MINIMUM OF
TEN DAYS PRIOR TO SAID REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETING OF THE BOARD  AND  TO
SUBMIT  A  PUBLIC, WRITTEN CONCURRENCE WITH OR DISSENT FROM THE ENFORCE-
MENT COUNSEL'S RECOMMENDATION.
  10. THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL ACCEPT, MODIFY  OR  REJECT  THE
ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL'S  RECOMMENDATION  NO  LATER  THAN SIXTY DAYS AFTER
RECEIPT OF SUCH RECOMMENDATION. IN MAKING ITS DETERMINATION,  THE  BOARD
SHALL  AGAIN  CONSIDER:  (A)  WHETHER THE COMPLAINT ALLEGES A DE MINIMUS
VIOLATION OF ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER; (B) WHETHER  THE  SUBJECT
OF  THE COMPLAINT HAS MADE A GOOD FAITH EFFORT TO CORRECT THE VIOLATION;
AND (C) WHETHER THE SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT HAS A  HISTORY  OF  SIMILAR
VIOLATIONS.  ALL  SUCH DETERMINATIONS SHALL BE VOTED UPON AS PROVIDED IN
SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION 3-100 OF  THIS  TITLE  AT  AN  OPEN  MEETING
PURSUANT  TO ARTICLE SEVEN OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, AND SHALL BE MADE
ON A FAIR AND EQUITABLE BASIS, WITHOUT  REGARD  TO  THE  STATUS  OF  THE
SUBJECT OF THE COMPLAINT.
  11.  (A)  IF  THE  STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS DETERMINES, AS PROVIDED IN
SUBDIVISION TEN OF THIS  SECTION,  THAT  SUBSTANTIAL  REASON  EXISTS  TO
BELIEVE  THAT  A  PERSON, ACTING AS OR ON BEHALF OF A CANDIDATE OR POLI-
TICAL COMMITTEE UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES EVINCING AN INTENT TO  VIOLATE  SUCH
LAW,  HAS UNLAWFULLY ACCEPTED A CONTRIBUTION IN EXCESS OF A CONTRIBUTION
LIMITATION ESTABLISHED IN ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER, WHICH  COULD
WARRANT  A CIVIL PENALTY AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION
14-126 OF THIS CHAPTER, THE BOARD SHALL DIRECT  THE  COMMENCEMENT  OF  A
SPECIAL PROCEEDING IN THE SUPREME COURT.
  (B)  IF THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS DETERMINES, AS PROVIDED IN SUBDI-
VISION TEN OF THIS SECTION THAT REASONABLE CAUSE  EXISTS  TO  BELIEVE  A
VIOLATION  WARRANTING  CRIMINAL  PROSECUTION  HAS TAKEN PLACE, THE BOARD
SHALL REFER THE MATTER TO A DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND SHALL  MAKE  AVAILABLE
TO  SUCH DISTRICT ATTORNEY ALL PAPERS, DOCUMENTS, TESTIMONY AND FINDINGS
RELEVANT TO ITS INVESTIGATION.
  12. UPON NOTIFICATION THAT A SPECIAL PROCEEDING HAS BEEN COMMENCED  BY
A  PARTY  OTHER  THAN  THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, PURSUANT TO SECTION
16-114 OF THIS CHAPTER, THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS  SHALL  DIRECT  THE
ENFORCEMENT  COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNLESS OTHER-
WISE DIRECTED BY THE COURT.
  13. THE ENFORCEMENT COUNSEL SHALL PREPARE A REPORT, TO BE INCLUDED  IN
THE  ANNUAL  REPORT  TO  THE  GOVERNOR  AND LEGISLATURE, SUMMARIZING THE
ACTIVITIES OF THE UNIT DURING  THE  PREVIOUS  YEAR.  SUCH  REPORT  SHALL
INCLUDE:  (A)  THE  NUMBER  OF  COMPLAINTS  RECEIVED;  (B) THE NUMBER OF
COMPLAINTS THAT WERE FOUND TO NEED INVESTIGATION AND THE NATURE OF  EACH
COMPLAINT;  AND  (C) THE NUMBER OF MATTERS THAT HAVE BEEN RESOLVED.  THE

S. 876--A                           6

REPORT SHALL NOT CONTAIN ANY INFORMATION FOR  WHICH  DISCLOSURE  IS  NOT
PERMITTED.
  14.  The state board of elections may promulgate rules and regulations
consistent with law to effectuate the provisions of this section.
  S 4. The state of New York shall appropriate during each  fiscal  year
to the New York state board of elections enforcement unit, not less than
thirty-five percent of the appropriation available from the general fund
for  the  state  board  of  elections  to  pay  for the expenses of such
enforcement unit.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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