senate Bill S3110

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to defining permissible personal use of campaign contributions

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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
Jan 08, 2014 referred to elections
Jan 30, 2013 referred to elections

S3110 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1248
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§14-130 & 14-102, add §14-132, El L; amd §74, Pub Off L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: A321
2009-2010: A812C

S3110 - Bill Texts

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Relates to defining permissible personal use of campaign contributions; provides options for the disposition of unused campaign funds; prohibits certain state and legislative employees from accepting campaign contributions for election to state or federal office.

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BILL NUMBER:S3110

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law and the public officers
law, in relation to campaign funds for personal use

PURPOSE: This legislation will more clearly delineate how candidates
for elected office can and cannot use their campaign funds, establish
rules and methods for the disposal of excess campaign funds and for the
timing of such disposal, require that they specifically detail campaign
contributions by lobbyists and prohibit the soliciting or receiving of
contributions for campaigns for state or federal office by senior policy
makers in the executive and legislative branch.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends section 14-130 of the election law, delineating how
campaign funds can be spent; Section 2 adds a new section 14-132 to the
election law, delineating when and how candidates must dispose of left
over campaign funds; Section 3 amends section 14-102 of the election
law, requiring that campaign filings state whether a contributor is a
lobbyist required to register pursuant to article one-A of the legisla-
tive law; and Section 4 amends subdivision 3 of section 74 of the public
officers law, prohibiting any employee of a state agency or legislative
employee required to file an annual statement of financial disclosure
from soliciting or receiving contributions for a campaign for state or
federal office.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill addresses a number of concerns with how
campaign funds are raised and expended. Currently, New York's election
law, allowing candidates to spend campaign funds for "any lawful
purpose," is among the most lax in the nation. While spending campaign
funds for personal use is technically prohibited, the lack of any defi-
nition for what constitutes a personal use renders the provision mean-
ingless. This shortcoming in the law is striking when compared to the
detailed restrictions issued by the Federal Election Commission. And
when it is combined with the provision that allows elected officials to
retain campaign funds for any use related to the holding of a public
office, it gives legislators virtual carte blanche for expenditures

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 60th day after becom-
ing law.

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

                                  3110

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 30, 2013
                               ___________

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

AN ACT to amend the  election  law  and  the  public  officers  law,  in
  relation to campaign funds for personal use

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

  Section 1. Section 14-130 of the election law, as added by chapter 152
of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
  S 14-130. Campaign funds for personal use. 1.  Contributions  received
by  a  candidate  or a political committee may ONLY be expended for [any
lawful purpose. Such funds shall not be converted by  any  person  to  a
personal  use  which is unrelated to a political campaign or the holding
of a public office  or  party  position]  BONA  FIDE  PURPOSES  DIRECTLY
RELATED TO EITHER:
  A. PROMOTING THE NOMINATION OR ELECTION OF A CANDIDATE; OR
  B.  PERFORMING  THOSE  DUTIES OF PUBLIC OFFICE OR PARTY POSITION WHICH
ARE NOT PAID FOR OR ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT BY THE STATE OR ANY POLI-
TICAL SUBDIVISION OR PRIVATE PARTY.
  2. PERMISSIBLE ORDINARY AND NECESSARY EXPENSES RELATING TO THE HOLDING
OF PUBLIC OFFICE OR PARTY POSITION SHALL INCLUDE:
  A. PRODUCTION AND CIRCULATION OF FLYERS  OR  OTHER  WRITTEN  MATERIALS
RELATED  TO  DUTIES  OF OFFICEHOLDER; THE PLACEMENT OF HOLIDAY GREETINGS
AND CONGRATULATORY ADS AND MEMORIAL NOTICES IN LOCAL  NEWSPAPERS,  MAGA-
ZINES, JOURNALS OR OTHER PUBLICATION;
  B.  SPONSORSHIP OR HOSTING OF COMMUNITY MEETINGS; TICKETS OR DONATIONS
TO LOCAL CHARITABLE, NON-PROFIT OR POLITICAL  EVENTS,  ORGANIZATIONS  OR
ACTIVITIES  THAT  PROMOTE  THE  WELFARE  OF  CONSTITUENTS  OR  POLITICAL
CAMPAIGNS;
  C. INCIDENTAL EXPENDITURES FOR THE OPERATION OF  LEGISLATIVE  OFFICES,
INCLUDING  PURCHASE OF ITEMS SUCH AS MEMORIAL OR GET-WELL GIFTS, FLOWERS
OR SIMILAR ITEMS OF NOMINAL VALUE FOR CONSTITUENTS OR OTHERS;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03754-01-3

S. 3110                             2

  D. MEMBERSHIP IN ORGANIZATIONS RELATED TO OFFICIAL DUTIES AND COSTS OF
ATTENDING  INFORMATIONAL  MEETINGS  ATTENDED  IN  CONNECTION  WITH  SUCH
DUTIES; AND
  E. TRAVEL RELATED TO DUTIES OF OFFICE, PROVIDED THAT THE TRAVEL IS NOT
UNDERTAKEN  FOR ANY PURPOSE RESULTING IN A PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL BENEFIT
TO THE CANDIDATE OR OFFICEHOLDER. IF SUCH EXPENSES INVOLVE BOTH PERSONAL
ACTIVITY AND CAMPAIGN OR OFFICIAL ACTIVITIES, THE  INCREMENTAL  EXPENSES
ASSOCIATED  WITH  THE  PERSONAL  ACTIVITIES ARE PERSONAL USES UNLESS THE
CAMPAIGN IS REIMBURSED FOR SUCH SUMS  FROM  OTHER  THAN  CAMPAIGN  FUNDS
WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF THE EXPENDITURE.
  NOTHING  IN  THIS  SECTION  SHALL PROHIBIT A CANDIDATE FROM PURCHASING
OFFICE EQUIPMENT WITH PERSONAL FUNDS AND LEASING OR RENTING SUCH  EQUIP-
MENT  OR  PROPERTY  TO  A  COMMITTEE  WORKING WITH OR FOR THE CANDIDATE,
PROVIDED THE CANDIDATE OR THE CAMPAIGN TREASURER SIGN A WRITTEN LEASE OR
RENTAL AGREEMENT AND FILES IT WITH  THE  APPROPRIATE  REQUIRED  CAMPAIGN
FINANCIAL  FILING  WHICH  SHALL  INCLUDE THE LEASE OR RENTAL PRICE WHICH
SHALL NOT EXCEED THE FAIR LEASE OR RENTAL VALUE OF THE EQUIPMENT  OR  IN
THE AGGREGATE EXCEED THE COST OF ITS PURCHASE.
  3.  CAMPAIGN FUNDS SHALL NOT BE CONVERTED TO PERSONAL USE, WHICH SHALL
BE DEFINED AS EXPENDITURES THAT:
  A. ARE FOR THE PERSONAL BENEFIT OF OR TO DEFRAY NORMAL LIVING EXPENSES
OF THE CANDIDATE, OFFICEHOLDER, IMMEDIATE FAMILY OR PARTNER OF EITHER OR
ANY OTHER PERSON;
  B. ARE USED TO FULFILL ANY COMMITMENT,  OBLIGATION,  OR  EXPENSE  THAT
WOULD  EXIST  IRRESPECTIVE  OF  THE CANDIDATE'S CAMPAIGN OR DUTIES AS AN
OFFICEHOLDER; OR
  C. ARE PUT TO ANY USE FOR WHICH THE CANDIDATE OR OFFICEHOLDER WOULD BE
REQUIRED TO TREAT THE AMOUNT OF THE EXPENDITURE AS  GROSS  INCOME  UNDER
SECTION 61 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE.
  4.  EXPENDITURES  FOR  PERSONAL  USE  SHALL  ALSO INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT
LIMITED TO, EXPENDITURES FOR:
  A. RESIDENTIAL OR HOUSEHOLD  ITEMS,  SUPPLIES,  MAINTENANCE  OR  OTHER
EXPENDITURES,  INCLUDING MORTGAGE, RENT, UTILITIES, REPAIRS, OR IMPROVE-
MENTS FOR ANY PART OF ANY PERSONAL RESIDENCE OF A CANDIDATE  OR  OFFICE-
HOLDER, HIS OR HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY OR PARTNER;
  B.  RENT  OR UTILITY PAYMENTS THAT EXCEED FAIR MARKET VALUE FOR USE OF
ANY PART OF ANY NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNED  BY  A  CANDIDATE,  OR  A
MEMBER OF A CANDIDATE'S FAMILY OR PARTNER USED FOR CAMPAIGN PURPOSES;
  C.  SALARY  AND  OTHER  FEES  FOR  BONA FIDE SERVICES TO A CAMPAIGN OR
LEGISLATIVE OFFICE THAT EXCEED FAIR AND REASONABLE MARKET VALUE OF  SUCH
SERVICES;
  D.  INTEREST  OR  ANY  OTHER  FINANCE CHARGES FOR MONIES LOANED TO THE
CAMPAIGN BY THE CANDIDATE OR THE SPOUSE OR PARTNER OF SUCH CANDIDATE;
  E. TUITION PAYMENTS;
  F. DUES, FEES, OR GRATUITIES AT PRIVATE CLUBS, RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
OR OTHER NONPOLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS,  UNLESS  CONNECTED  TO  A  SPECIFIC
WIDELY ATTENDED FUNDRAISING EVENT THAT TAKES PLACE ON THE ORGANIZATION'S
PREMISES;
  G.  AUTOMOBILE  PURCHASES  OR LONG TERM LEASES; SHORT TERM CAR RENTALS
AND CELLULAR EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES NOT USED  EXCLUSIVELY  FOR  CAMPAIGN
PURPOSES OR DUTIES AS AN OFFICEHOLDER;
  H. ADMISSION TO SPORTING EVENTS, CONCERTS, THEATERS, OR OTHER FORMS OF
ENTERTAINMENT,  UNLESS  PART  OF  A  SPECIFIC  CAMPAIGN  OR OFFICEHOLDER
RELATED ACTIVITY; AND
  I. PAYMENT OF ANY FINES, FEES, OR PENALTIES ASSESSED PURSUANT TO  THIS
CHAPTER.

S. 3110                             3

  5. NO CAMPAIGN FUNDS SHALL BE USED TO PAY ATTORNEY'S FEES OR ANY COSTS
OF  DEFENDING AGAINST ANY CIVIL OR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTION
FOR ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF STATE OR FEDERAL  LAW  ALLEGED  TO  HAVE  BEEN
COMMITTED WHILE HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE OR AS A CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE WHERE
THE  CANDIDATE  OR  PUBLIC OR PARTY OFFICIAL, MEMBERS OF THEIR IMMEDIATE
FAMILIES OR PARTNERS OR THE CAMPAIGN IS THE TARGET OF SUCH INVESTIGATION
OR PROSECUTION UNLESS SUCH EXPENDITURE IS  USED  EXCLUSIVELY  FOR  COSTS
RELATED  TO  CIVIL OR CRIMINAL ACTIONS FOR ALLEGED VIOLATIONS RELATED TO
ACTIVITIES PROMOTING THE NOMINATION OR ELECTION OF A CANDIDATE.
  S 2. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  14-132  to
read as follows:
  S  14-132.  DISPOSITION OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS. 1. AN AUTHORIZED CONTINUING
CANDIDATE COMMITTEE MUST DISPOSE OF ALL  FUNDS  AND  CLOSE  WITHIN  FOUR
YEARS  AFTER  THE  LATER  OF (A) THE END OF THE INDIVIDUAL'S MOST RECENT
TERM OF OFFICE, OR (B) THE DATE OF THE ELECTION IN WHICH THE  INDIVIDUAL
LAST WAS A FILED CANDIDATE.
  2.  ANY  CANDIDATE OR POLITICAL COMMITTEE REQUIRED TO DISPOSE OF FUNDS
PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL, AT THE OPTION OF THE CANDIDATE,  OR  THE
TREASURER  OF A POLITICAL COMMITTEE FORMED SOLELY TO PROMOTE THE PASSAGE
OR DEFEAT OF A BALLOT PROPOSAL, DISPOSE OF SUCH  FUNDS  BY  ANY  OF  THE
FOLLOWING MEANS, OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF:
  A.  RETURNING,  PRO  RATA, TO EACH CONTRIBUTOR THE FUNDS THAT HAVE NOT
BEEN SPENT OR OBLIGATED;
  B. DONATING THE FUNDS TO A CHARITABLE  ORGANIZATION  OR  ORGANIZATIONS
THAT MEET THE QUALIFICATIONS OF SECTION 501(C)(3) OF THE INTERNAL REVEN-
UE CODE;
  C. DONATING THE FUNDS TO THE STATE UNIVERSITY;
  D. DONATING THE FUNDS TO THE STATE'S GENERAL FUND;
  E.  TRANSFERRING  THE  FUNDS TO A POLITICAL PARTY COMMITTEE REGISTERED
WITH THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS; OR
  F. CONTRIBUTING THE FUNDS TO A CANDIDATE OR POLITICAL  COMMITTEE  SUCH
THAT THIS DOES NOT EXCEED THE LIMITS SET FORTH IN SECTION 14-114 OF THIS
ARTICLE.
  3. NO CANDIDATE OR POLITICAL COMMITTEE SHALL DISPOSE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS
BY  MAKING EXPENDITURES FOR PERSONAL USE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 14-130 OF
THIS ARTICLE.
  4. UPON THE DEATH OF A CANDIDATE, FORMER CANDIDATE OR HOLDER OF  ELEC-
TIVE  OFFICE,  WHO  RECEIVED  CAMPAIGN  CONTRIBUTIONS, ALL CONTRIBUTIONS
SHALL BE DISPOSED OF ACCORDING TO THIS SECTION WITHIN TWELVE  MONTHS  OF
THE DEATH OF THE CANDIDATE.
  S  3.  Subdivision 1 of section 14-102 of the election law, as amended
by chapter 8 and redesignated by chapter 9  of  the  laws  of  1978,  is
amended to read as follows:
  1.  The  treasurer of every political committee which, or any officer,
member or agent of any  such  committee  who,  in  connection  with  any
election,  receives  or  expends  any  money  or other valuable thing or
incurs any liability to pay money or its equivalent  shall  file  state-
ments  sworn,  or subscribed and bearing a form notice that false state-
ments made therein are punishable as a class A misdemeanor  pursuant  to
section 210.45 of the penal law, at the times prescribed by this article
setting forth all the receipts, contributions to and the expenditures by
and  liabilities  of  the  committee,  and  of its officers, members and
agents in its behalf. Such statements shall include the dollar amount of
any receipt, contribution or transfer, or the fair market value  of  any
receipt,  contribution  or  transfer,  which is other than of money, the
name and address of the transferor,  contributor  or  person  from  whom

S. 3110                             4

received,  IF THE CONTRIBUTOR IS A LOBBYIST REGISTERED PURSUANT TO ARTI-
CLE ONE-A OF THE LEGISLATIVE LAW and if the transferor,  contributor  or
person  is  a  political  committee;  the name of and the political unit
represented by the committee, the date of its receipt, the dollar amount
of  every expenditure, the name and address of the person to whom it was
made or the name of and the political unit represented by the  committee
to  which  it was made and the date thereof, and shall state clearly the
purpose of such expenditure. Any statement reporting a loan  shall  have
attached  to  it a copy of the evidence of indebtedness. Expenditures in
sums under fifty dollars need not be specifically accounted for by sepa-
rate items in said statements, and receipts and contributions  aggregat-
ing not more than ninety-nine dollars, from any one contributor need not
be  specifically  accounted  for  by  separate items in said statements,
provided however, that such  expenditures,  receipts  and  contributions
shall be subject to the other provisions of section 14-118 of this arti-
cle.
  S 4. Subdivision 3 of section 74 of the public officers law is amended
by adding a new paragraph j to read as follows:
  J. NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF A STATE AGENCY REQUIRED TO FILE AN ANNUAL
STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVENTY-THREE-A OF
THIS  ARTICLE  SHALL SOLICIT OR RECEIVE CONTRIBUTIONS FOR A CAMPAIGN FOR
STATE OR FEDERAL OFFICE.
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
have  become a law; provided, however, that the state board of elections
shall notify  all  registered  campaign  committees  of  the  applicable
provisions  of  this  act  within  thirty days after this act shall have
become a law.

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