Requires an authorized continuing candidate committee for any individual to dispose of all funds within certain time frames.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the election law, in relation to disposition of campaign funds
This bill amends Article 14 of the Election Law to require that campaign funds are disposed of in a timely and appropriate manner after a candidate leaves office.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The Election Law is amended by adding a new section 14-132.
Subdivision one requires an authorized candidate committee to dispose of all funds and close within four years after the end of a candidate's term office or date of the election in which the candidate was last filed, whichever is later.
Subdivision two requires a candidate or political committee, including a committee formed to promote or defeat the passage of a ballot amendment to dispose of funds by: (1) returning funds pro rata to contributors; (2) donating the funds to a 501(c)(3) -designated organization; (3) donating the funds to the state university; (4) donating the funds to the state's general funds; (5) transferring the funds to a political party committee; or (6) contributing the funds to a candidate or political committee within the current contribution limits.
Subdivision three bars the disposal of campaign funds for personal use.
Subdivision four requires that all funds be disposed of within twelve months of the death of a candidate.
This bill addresses how campaign funds are 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. There is a growing and justifiable public perception that campaign funds are being used to enhance the post election lifestyles of candidates for public office. The bill sets limits on how long campaign committees can be maintained by former candidates. Reports of committees continuing years after campaigns were ended are all too common. By setting time limits and also specifying how excess funds can be disbursed, this abuse will be eliminated.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 420 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________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 disposition of campaign funds THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. 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 FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL SHALL DISPOSE OF ALL FUNDS AND CLOSE WITHIN FOUR YEARS AFTER THE LATER OF (A) THE END OF THE INDIVID- UAL'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.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00732-01-1 S. 420 2
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. 5. NOTWITHSTANDING THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OR TWO OF THIS SECTION, AN AUTHORIZED CONTINUING CANDIDATE COMMITTEE SHALL DISPOSE OF ALL FUNDS AND CLOSE WITHIN TWELVE MONTHS AFTER A FELONY CONVICTION OF A CANDIDATE WHO AUTHORIZED SUCH CANDIDATE COMMITTEE ACCORDING TO PARAGRAPH A, B, C OR D OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.