Myrie, DiNapoli And McDonald Introduce Pay-To-Play Legislation

Zellnor Myrie

May 22, 2024

Myrie Press Conference
New Program Bill Restricts Contributions
by Vendors Pursuing State Contracts

ALBANY– In an effort to improve transparency in New York State's contracting process, Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Central Brooklyn) introduced new legislation to restrict vendors from making political campaign contributions during an active State procurement. The legislation, introduced as a program bill with State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and sponsored in the Assembly by Assembly Member John T. McDonald (D-Albany), would improve transparency and integrity in the State's procurement process.

The legislation establishes a "restricted period" during which a vendor, seeking to obtain a State contract in excess of $50,000, would be prohibited from making a campaign contribution to statewide elected officials, candidates or their authorized committees. The bill further requires an affirmative disclosure included in every procurement, certifying the vendor has not made or solicited any such restricted contributions.

"New Yorkers have every right to expect that public contracts are awarded to the best vendors— not to those who make the biggest donations to an elected official," said Senator Myrie. "No one should attempt to influence a contract award by donating to an official with oversight over that contract. I'm proud to introduce this bill to remove even the appearance of impropriety in our State's procurement process."

“Transparency in the procurement process will be furthered by this legislation," said Assembly Member McDonald. "When public dollars are spent it is in the public’s interest to ensure that the process is a fair one that is not influenced by any other basis than what is in the best interest of the taxpayers and New York residents. I am glad to sponsor this important bill and thank Senator Myrie and Comptroller DiNapoli for their partnership in this effort.”

"Shady vendors can currently donate to elected officials and candidates while they are competing for valuable contracts," concluded Senator Myrie. "This legislation aims to stop this practice and bring New York in line with other states around the country that have enacted strong 'pay-to-play' restrictions. I'm honored to partner with Comptroller DiNapoli and Assembly Member McDonald in advancing this important good-government bill."