Bill S1847-2011

Prohibits the use of official position for political fundraising

Prohibits the use or exploitation of official position by an officer or employee of a state agency for political fundraising as a standard of ethics for state employees; makes unlawful use of official position, in the first or second degree, to engage in political fundraising a class E felony and class A misdemeanor, respectively.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 13, 2011: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1847

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law and the penal law, in relation to prohibiting the use of an official position for political fundraising

PURPOSE: To limit and guard against public officials using the information and influence of their policymaking public positions to raise funds for political candidates.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill also adds two new paragraphs to section seventy-four of the public officers law to prohibit officers and employees of a state agency and other policy makers from using their public position or information gained through that position to raise funds for political candidates.

The bill also adds two new sections to the penal law making it illegal for a person to exploit his or her official position in a state agency or as a policy maker to solicit funds or allow his or her name to be used to solicit funds for a political candidate. Criminal penalties include a class A misdemeanor and a class E felony.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill strengthens the limitations on certain state public officers from using their position to raise funds for political candidates. The measure attempts to strike at a widespread and corrosive practice of public officials soliciting campaign contributions or support from public employees or entities doing business with government. This practice inevitably leads to a strong potential for abuse and one that district attorneys should be able to curtail with a strong and distinct statute. New York City has already enacted such limitations and embodies recommendations of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity as contained in its June 1989 report entitled "The Midas Touch: Campaign Finance Practices of Statewide Officeholders."

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 04/07/09 REFERRED TO FINANCE 01/06/10 REFERRED TO FINANCE

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately provided that section three of this act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1847 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 13, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. OPPENHEIMER, KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the public officers law and the penal law, in relation to prohibiting the use of an official position for political fundrais- ing THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. It is the intent of this legislation to declare that public officers have a responsibility to ensure that their conduct will not violate the public trust placed in them. Public officers must make certain that their conduct will not raise any suspicions or give the impression that they are acting in violation of such public trust. It is important that the legislature set forth the high standards of ethical conduct to which public officials are expected to adhere. S 2. Subdivision 3 of section 74 of the public officers law is amended by adding two new paragraphs j and k to read as follows: J. NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF A STATE AGENCY SHALL ATTEMPT TO EXPLOIT OR OTHERWISE USE HIS OR HER OFFICIAL POSITION FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASKING FOR OR REQUESTING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS ON BEHALF OF ANY CANDIDATE FOR PUBLIC OFFICE OR POLITICAL COMMITTEE, NOR SHALL SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE USE ANY INFORMATION GAINED BY REASON OF HIS OR HER OFFICIAL POSITION FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASKING FOR OR REQUESTING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. K. NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF A STATE AGENCY WHO HOLDS THE POSITION OF COMMISSIONER, DIRECTOR, SUPERINTENDENT, CHAIR, BOARD MEMBER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PRESIDENT, CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR, OR OTHER POSITION OF ULTIMATE AGENCY RESPONSIBILITY SHALL SOLICIT POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS ON BEHALF OF ANY CANDIDATE FOR PUBLIC OFFICE OR POLITICAL COMMITTEE, OR PERMIT HIS OR HER NAME TO BE USED FOR POLITICAL FUNDRAISING. S 3. The penal law is amended by adding two new sections 200.28 and 200.29 to read as follows: S 200.28 UNLAWFUL USE OF AN OFFICIAL POSITION IN THE FIRST DEGREE.
A PERSON IS GUILTY OF UNLAWFUL USE OF AN OFFICIAL POSITION IN THE FIRST DEGREE WHEN HE OR SHE KNOWINGLY ATTEMPTS TO EXPLOIT OR OTHERWISE USES HIS OR HER OFFICIAL POSITION OR INFORMATION GAINED BY VIRTUE OF THAT POSITION AS AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF A STATE AGENCY TO ENGAGE IN POLITICAL FUNDRAISING, OR FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASKING FOR OR REQUESTING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. UNLAWFUL USE OF AN OFFICIAL POSITION IN THE FIRST DEGREE IS A CLASS E FELONY. S 200.29 UNLAWFUL USE OF AN OFFICIAL POSITION IN THE SECOND DEGREE. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF UNLAWFUL USE OF AN OFFICIAL POSITION IN THE SECOND DEGREE WHEN HE OR SHE IS AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF A STATE AGENCY WHO HOLDS THE POSITION OF COMMISSIONER, DIRECTOR, SUPERINTENDENT, CHAIR, BOARD MEMBER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PRESIDENT, CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR OR OTHER POSITION OF ULTIMATE AGENCY RESPONSIBILITY AND HE OR SHE KNOWINGLY SOLICITS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS ON BEHALF OF ANY CANDIDATE FOR PUBLIC OFFICE OR A POLITICAL COMMITTEE, OR KNOWINGLY PERMITS HIS OR HER NAME TO BE USED FOR POLITICAL FUNDRAISING. UNLAWFUL USE OF AN OFFICIAL POSITION IN THE SECOND DEGREE IS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that section three of this act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.

Discuss!

blog comments powered by Disqus