A03647 Summary:

BILL NOA03647
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORBrennan
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add S204, BC L
 
Prohibits corporations that receive public financing from giving gifts to public officials.
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A03647 Actions:

BILL NOA03647
 
01/27/2015referred to governmental operations
01/06/2016referred to governmental operations
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A03647 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A3647
 
SPONSOR: Brennan
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the business corporation law, in relation to prohibiting gifts to public officials   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To prohibit any domestic or foreign business corporation from offering or providing a gift to any State public officials.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill adds a new section 0 204 to the business corpo- ration law to prohibit any business corporation that does business in this State or receives any form of State public financing from offering and giving a gift to public officials. The new section sets forth penalties for violating the prohibition based on the annual revenue of the corporation. Any director or officer who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to six times the value of the gift. The State Attorney General is empowered to enforce the provisions of this new section. Section two provides that this act shall take effect immediately.   JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, no registered lobbyist or the lobbyists client may offer or give a gift to a public official "unless it is not reasonable to infer that the gift was intended to influence such public officials." The law contains a potential loophole since it would appear to allow a corporation or organization that does not retain a registered lobbyist to offer or proffer a gift to public officials even if the gift was intended to influence the official. Moreover, it is very difficult to prove that a gift was intended to influence a person, especially if there has been a long-term personal relationship between the two indi- viduals. Public opinion on the ethical behavior of elected officials, especially in this State, is at record lows. To remove any ambiguities or subjec- tivity in the law and to ensure the highest ethical standards, this bill would expressly prohibit any business corporation that does business in, or receives public financing from, the State from offering or giving any gifts to public officials.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A03647 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          3647
 
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 27, 2015
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. BRENNAN -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Governmental Operations
 
        AN ACT to amend the business corporation law, in relation to prohibiting
          gifts to public officials
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The  business  corporation law is amended by adding a new
     2  section 204 to read as follows:
     3  § 204. Prohibition of gifts to public officials.
     4    (a) For the purposes of this section:
     5    (1) the terms "gift" and "public official" shall have the same meaning
     6  as those terms are defined in the legislative law, except that the  term
     7  "gift",  in addition to the definition set forth in the legislative law,
     8  shall include any privileges,  benefits  or  rights  that  are  offered,
     9  provided  or  made available to a public official but not to the general
    10  public.
    11    (2) the term "public financing" shall include, but not be limited  to,
    12  state  or local grants, subsidies, tax exemptions or credits, tax abate-
    13  ments, payments in lieu of taxes, and any debt  issued  by  a  state  or
    14  local agency, a public authority or a public benefit corporation.
    15    (b)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no domes-
    16  tic  corporation,  foreign corporation, or any subsidiary of such corpo-
    17  ration which (i) is authorized to do or does business in this state  and
    18  (ii)  receives directly or indirectly any form or type of public financ-
    19  ing shall offer, give or provide a gift to any public official.
    20    (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit or  prevent
    21  a  corporation from offering, giving or providing goods or services to a
    22  public official on the same terms and conditions as  goods  or  services
    23  are offered or provided to the general public.
    24    (c)(1)  Any  corporation  that violates any provisions of this section
    25  and
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02503-01-5

        A. 3647                             2
 
     1    (i) generates annual gross revenues of less than one  million  dollars
     2  shall be subject to a fine of up to five thousand dollars;
     3    (ii)  generates  annual gross revenues of between one and five million
     4  dollars shall be subject to a fine of up to ten thousand dollars but not
     5  less than five thousand dollars;
     6    (iii) generates annual  gross  revenues  of  more  than  five  million
     7  dollars  but less than ten million dollars shall be subject to a fine of
     8  up to fifty thousand dollars but not less than ten thousand dollars; and
     9    (iv) generates annual gross revenues of more than ten million  dollars
    10  shall  be  subject  to  a  fine  of up to two hundred and fifty thousand
    11  dollars but not less than fifty thousand dollars;
    12    (2) Any director or officer who knowingly violates the  provisions  of
    13  this  section  shall  be  guilty  of a class A misdemeanor, and shall be
    14  subject to a monetary fine of up to six times the value of the gift.
    15    (d) The New York state attorney general shall be empowered and author-
    16  ized to enforce compliance with this  section,  including  imposing  the
    17  appropriate  penalties  on  those parties who are found to have violated
    18  the provisions of this section.
    19    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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