General Counsel Committee Update
April 15, 2010
Staff Contact: Heather Briccetti
The Senate Committee on Elections is holding public hearings on April 20 and 23 to seek comment on proposals about public campaign financing and limits to campaign expenditures by corporations. S.7083 is in response to the Supreme Court's recent decision in Citizen's United v. Federal Election Commission to effectively eliminate restrictions on corporations' ability to expend corporate resources in support or opposition to political candidates, political parties and ballot referendums. Other bills would drastically change corporate political donations under the guise of government reform.
The Business Council is reviewing the list of bills and requests that concerned members contact Heather Briccetti at 518.465.7511 x203 to discuss the business community's response.
- S.743 - 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.
- S.900 - Requires the filing of additional transferor and contributor identification information in campaign receipt and expenditure statements for the receipt of amounts over one hundred dollars, including the occupation, employer and employer's address in the case of an individual, and the full name and address of any partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization or group of persons.
- S.3965 - Requires reporting of the identities of persons acting as intermediaries or bundlers of political contributions in certain cases; defines relevant terms; provides for exceptions in other cases where a contribution was collected in connection with a party or other candidate related event held at the residence of the person delivering the contribution.
- S.3980 – Treats parent corporations and their 50% or more owned subsidiaries as one entity for purposes of the applicability of the $5,000 campaign contribution limit; applies additional disclosure requirements to certain corporations including the names and addresses of parent corporations and individuals who own or control shares of either the parent or subsidiary corporation.
- S.4545 - Lowers the annual candidate contribution limit from $150,000 to $75,000.
- S.5277 - Relates to political contributions made by limited liability companies.
- S.5282B - Relates to entities that shall be considered a single source for the purpose of campaign contribution limits.
- S.5546 - Prohibits candidates from authorizing more than one political committee for any one election.
- S.7083 - Establishes the corporate political activity accountability to shareholders act which requires that corporate contributions to a political candidate or party committee or in support or opposition to a candidate or ballot referendum be approved by a majority of shareholders; applies to cooperative corporations, not-for-profit corporations, rail road and transportation corporations.
- S.7478 - Prohibits political contributions by businesses that have been awarded state contracts.
- TBD – Public Campaign Financing.