Committee Reports

Statement in Opposition to the Proposed New Definition of “Independent Expenditure” in the 2015-16 NYS Public Protection and General Government Budget


The Nonprofit Organizations Committee issued a memo opposing the expansion of the definition of “independent expenditure” set forth in the Governor’s Executive Budget. Under the proposal, the definition of what has to be reported as an independent expenditure in a political campaign would be expanded to include any written communication that, within 60 days before a general or special election or 30 days before a primary election, refers to a clearly identified candidate. The reporting requirement would be triggered regardless of whether the mention of the candidate’s name specifically related to a campaign. The Committee believes the proposed definition is overbroad, and is a trap for many of the 90,000 nonprofit organizations in New York who would not be aware of the law and not understand that simply the mention of a candidate would trigger the reporting requirement. This is a particular problem for organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which are prohibited from engaging in political activity of any kind.


A.3005 / S.2005 (Part Q), 2015-16 Public Protection and General Government Budget – proposed new definition of “independent expenditure”


Spring 2015 44th Street Notes: “Legislative Update: Passage of a State Budget”