Bill S3273-2013

Relates to increasing fines and penalties for certain violations; requires refund of certain illegal contributions

Relates to increasing fines and penalties for certain violations; requires refund of certain illegal contributions.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • Jan 31, 2013: REFERRED TO ELECTIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3273

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to increasing penalties for certain violations

PURPOSE: This legislation would increase fines and penalties for certain violations; requires refund of certain illegal contributions.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends Election Law § 14-126 to increase civil penalties for violations of New York's campaign finance laws. The bill imposes civil penalties of up to $10,000 for expending campaign funds for personal use; and political committee violations of the campaign finance law.

The bill also creates a penalty for those who establish a partnership or limited liability company to evade the contribution limits. The penalty would be two times the amount contributed plus a fine of 10,000 in a civil proceeding brought by the board of elections.

JUSTIFICATION: Current penalties for violations of campaign finance laws in New York are either nonexistent or. extremely weak. The fines under current law are far too low, considering the level of contributions candidates receive. This legislation is an important component of a series of meaningful campaign finance reforms for New Yorkers.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S:4061B, Similar to A.7488-A 2011: S.890

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: There may be a small increase in revenues due to increased fine levels.

EFFECTIVE DATE:; This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3273 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 31, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. KRUEGER -- 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 increasing penalties for certain violations THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 14-126 of the election law, as amended by section 3 of part E of chapter 399 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: S 14-126. Violations; penalties. 1. Any person who fails to file a statement required to be filed by this article shall be subject to a civil penalty, not in excess of one thousand dollars, to be recoverable in a special proceeding or civil action to be brought by the state board of elections [or other board of elections] PURSUANT TO SECTION 16-114 OF THIS CHAPTER. Any person who, three or more times within a given election cycle for such term of office, fails to file a statement or statements required to be filed by this article, shall be subject to a civil penalty, not in excess of ten thousand dollars, to be recoverable as provided for in this subdivision. 2. Any person who, acting as or on behalf of a candidate or political committee, under circumstances evincing an intent to violate such law, unlawfully accepts a contribution in excess of a contribution limitation established in this article, shall be required to refund such excess amount and shall be subject to a civil penalty equal to the excess amount plus a fine of up to ten thousand dollars, to be recoverable in a special proceeding or civil action to be brought by the state board of elections. 3. ANY PERSON WHO, ACTING AS OR ON BEHALF OF A CANDIDATE OR POLITICAL COMMITTEE, UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES EVINCING AN INTENT TO VIOLATE SUCH LAW, UNLAWFULLY (A) EXPENDS CAMPAIGN FUNDS FOR A PERSONAL USE IN VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE, OR (B) CONDUCTS ACTIVITIES PROHIBITED BY THIS ARTICLE,
SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY, NOT IN EXCESS OF TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, TO BE RECOVERABLE IN A SPECIAL PROCEEDING OR CIVIL ACTION TO BE BROUGHT BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. 4. Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to file a statement required to be filed by this article within ten days after the date provided for filing such statement or any person who knowingly and will- fully violates any other provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. [4.] 5. Any person who knowingly and willfully contributes, accepts or aids or participates in the acceptance of a contribution in an amount exceeding an applicable maximum specified in this article shall be guil- ty of a misdemeanor. [5.] 6. Any person who shall, acting on behalf of a candidate or poli- tical committee, knowingly and willfully solicit, organize or coordinate the formation of activities of one or more unauthorized committees, make expenditures in connection with the nomination for election or election of any candidate, or solicit any person to make any such expenditures, for the purpose of evading the contribution limitations of this article, shall be guilty of a class E felony. 7. ANY PERSON WHO, UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES EVINCING AN INTENT TO VIOLATE THIS ARTICLE, ESTABLISHES A PARTNERSHIP FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF EVADING THE CONTRIBUTION LIMITS THAT WOULD OTHERWISE APPLY TO THAT INDIVIDUAL IN VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 14-120 OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY EQUAL TO TWO TIMES THE AMOUNT CONTRIBUTED BY THE PARTNERSHIP IN EXCESS OF THE CONTRIBUTION LIMITS THAT WOULD OTHER- WISE APPLY TO THAT INDIVIDUAL PLUS A FINE OF UP TO TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, TO BE RECOVERABLE IN A SPECIAL PROCEEDING OR CIVIL ACTION TO BE BROUGHT BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. 8. ANY PERSON WHO, UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES EVINCING AN INTENT TO VIOLATE THIS ARTICLE, ESTABLISHES A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF EVADING THE CONTRIBUTION LIMITS THAT WOULD OTHERWISE APPLY TO THAT INDIVIDUAL IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 14-120 OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY EQUAL TO TWO TIMES THE AMOUNT CONTRIBUTED BY THE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY IN EXCESS OF THE CONTRIBUTION LIMITS THAT WOULD OTHERWISE APPLY TO THAT INDIVIDUAL PLUS A FINE OF UP TO TEN THOU- SAND DOLLARS, TO BE RECOVERABLE IN A SPECIAL PROCEEDING OR CIVIL ACTION TO BE BROUGHT BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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