State Assembly Democrats have introduced legislation that would increase public disclosure requirements for groups that lobby in New York.
The bill, according to officials, would also specifically exempt from the definition of lobbying any communications with news outlets, including editorial boards.
In a controversial order that has sparked lawsuits from several public relations firms, the state ethics commission recently enacted a requirement that would require communication consultants who speak with editorial boards about issues before the state to register as lobbyists.
Currently, groups, including noncharitable, nonprofit organizations, that spend more than $50,000, at least 3% of which is devoted to lobbying in New York, are required to disclose the identities of donors who gave them more than $5,000.
Under the Assembly Democrats’ bill, which is sponsored by Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-Staten Island), the amounts would be significantly lowered.
The bill, officials said, would require organizations registered to lobby in New York and that spend more than $5,000 to disclose the names of all donors who gave them more than $1,000. They would also have to disclose the exact amount donated and how the funding was used.
Under federal law, donations to nonprofits cannot be tax deductible if the money is used for lobbying, Assembly officials said. The bill would make it easier to figure that out.
From the Daily News:
The Democrat-controlled state Assembly is looking to crack down on a major source of outside cash for lawmakers — referral fees.
A plan released by the Assembly on Friday would require legislators employed as private lawyers to disclose the legal work they did.