New York Pay to Play Laws

Contributions from individuals associated with companies doing business with the city government will be regulated to reduce the potential and appearance of pay-to-play corruption. These contributors are subject to lower contribution limits and their contributions cannot be reconciled to public funds. The city`s Doing Business Database (DBDB) lists these individuals and the entities associated with them. The DBDB is publicly available and campaigns can verify that their contributors are listed. We also help financial services companies and other businesses and organizations comply with pay-to-play laws that have proliferated at the state and local levels. These laws, which affect all types of government contractors, often go beyond corporate and PAC contributions and apply to the contributions of directors, officers and vendors, and even their spouses. Many companies that don`t see themselves as government contractors, but do business on a relatively small scale with public entities, may be subject to pay-per-play laws without realizing it. Compliance requirements include pre-contractual certifications and contribution reports, as well as periodic contribution reports, as in New Jersey and Maryland. Fee-based laws regulate the political contributions of individuals seeking or holding government contracts. In many cases, these laws also cover contributions from individuals and entities associated with government contractors, such as officers, directors, suppliers, and family members. The number of jurisdictions and public institutions that have adopted pay-per-play laws or policies continues to grow.

Wiley advises clients on compliance with these complex pay-to-play laws at the federal, state, local and government levels. Failure to comply with these laws can lead to potentially serious violations and the loss of valuable business with public entities. We have helped many clients develop and implement paid compliance programs, which often include pre-approval procedures for political contributions. Our biannual state- and local-level pay-to-play survey provides a comprehensive overview of pay-to-play laws in states and major municipalities, as well as pay-to-play policies that many public institutions and pension funds have in place. The New York legislature has taken steps to close an earlier “LLC loophole” in its campaign finance laws, and the governor has also proposed aggressive bans on gambling payments and corporate contributions. These changes add complexity for limited liability companies (LLCs) and other corporations as they navigate the regulatory maze of campaign finance for the state. It is important to consult with a lawyer to ensure compliance with the new LLC requirement and to consider the potential impact of the governor`s proposals on pay-per-play. Major donors dominate elections in New York State, giving the state a longstanding reputation for paid legislation and political corruption. The introduction of public funding by small donors would significantly increase the voice of ordinary New Yorkers in the political process and encourage candidates to turn to them for campaign support.

Second, Governor Cuomo proposed banning paid contributions as part of an aggressive omnibus campaign finance and lobbying bill. The prohibition would prohibit potential government contractors from making contributions for: (1) public officials who bid on or evaluate the bids in question or approve or award the final contract requested by the contracting authority; and (2) any candidate for such position. In addition, contributions from subsidiaries of a potential contractor and SPCs would also be covered. It is clear from the text of the Act that the proposed prohibition does not affect the officers or directors of potential government contractors. To ensure compliance with these rules, some companies have implemented pay-per-play policies that require employees to obtain prior approval from the legal or compliance department before making certain contributions to the policy. However, it is not always easy to determine whether a particular contribution requires prior approval. Analyzing how rules are applied to a publication and identifying the universe of applicable pay-to-play rules is a major challenge. The Brennan Center has long worked to improve democracy in our home state of New York. We play a leading role in a broad coalition of advocacy and grassroots groups calling for comprehensive reform of New York`s election laws, starting with public funding for small donors. We also work with a group of business and municipal leaders in the state, NY LEAD (New York Leadership for Accountable Government), who are pushing for campaign finance reform to increase the fairness and integrity of government. Covington is pleased to offer the survey in its entirety for purchase. Alternatively, individual states or groups of states may be made available at reduced prices.

If you have any questions or would like to purchase the survey, please contact paytoplaysurvey@cov.com In addition, Governor Cuomo has proposed a complete ban on corporate donations to New York State candidates. If both provisions come into force, the ban on corporate contributions would, of course, render the ban on paid contributions obsolete in the case of commercial contractors. To help in-house attorneys and compliance professionals make these decisions, Covington annually updates a detailed overview of the paid laws of all 50 states and several cities and counties. This poll of more than 400 pages: As New York`s campaign finance laws continue to change (perhaps drastically if Governor Cuomo`s many proposals pass the legislature), it`s important for LLCs and other businesses to consult with a lawyer and make sure they don`t violate limits or prohibitions on contribution. Senator Helming: The bill to end paid gambling is a step in the right direction, the more complete and accurate the campaign coverage of contributors` information, the less likely it is that a discrepancy will occur. However, if a campaign believes that a contributor is not the DBDB person, it must provide records or data to BFC to prove this. The campaign could also send BFC a statement signed by the donor stating that they are not the person at DBDB and that they are not affiliated in any way with the business entity. Campaigns should be searched by contributors in the DBDB.

Campaigns can also ask contributors directly, contributors may not be aware of their business status. Since the database is the source of BFC`s decisions, it is more reliable and should be considered when accepting contributions that transcend company boundaries, alone or bundled with previous contributions from the same contributor. What happens if a contributor is listed in the Doing Business database but tells the countryside that they do not do business with the city? The content of the DBDB is determined by the Business Accountability Project of the Mayor`s Contract Services Office (MOCS). If you have questions about whether or for how long an entity should be included in the DBDB, contact MOCS at 212-298-0600 or DoingBusiness@mocs.nyc.gov. Partnership contributions are contributions from individual partners, but they are not listed individually until the partnership contribution exceeds USD 2500. Once this threshold is exceeded, the applicant must also allocate the contribution to the individual partner(s). Lobbyists who must register with the City Clerk are also covered. Under separate legislation, contributions from spouses, life partners, unemancipated children and employees of registered lobbyists cannot be reconciled with public funds, but are not subject to contribution limits.

To resolve the notification, your campaign must: People may be in the DBDB due to relationships other than paid employment. However, if a contributor is no longer affiliated with the entity that registered them in the DBDB, they must contact the entity to complete a DBA update form and submit it to the Doing Business Accountability Project in DoingBusiness@mocs.nyc.gov.