Assemblywoman Galef Announces the Passage of Campaign Finance Reform Legislation

June 23, 2005

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, 90th Assembly District, announced the passage of her campaign reform legislation (A.6533/S.5856) ensuring that campaign contributions are electronically filed for political committees and candidates running in local elections and raising or spending more that $1,000. This legislation, which was also sponsored by Senator John Flanagan, will be sent to the Governor’s Office for his signature.

"I am proud to be part of bettering New York’s elections system. New Yorkers will now have better access to all elections information," Galef said.

Until now, campaign finance reports were filed in paper format with local board of elections only, making it difficult to monitor campaign contributions. This legislation still allows the filing at the county level but also requires political committees and candidates pursuing local seats to also file electronically with the State Board of Elections.

This bill requires that candidates running for local government positions use the same methods New York State uses in tracking campaign expenses in statewide campaigns. Since 1997, The New York Board of Elections has required an electronic database for reporting campaign receipts, contributions and expenditures for candidates and committees of statewide elections only. This data has been reported over the Internet, giving significantly greater public access to the information.

"It has been proven that electronic monitoring is a success at the state level. By implementing electronic monitoring at the local level, we can give the public easy access to this information as well as easily catch violators," Galef said.

"This is an important step forward in public oversight of campaign finance practices. We applaud Assemblywoman Galef’s grit and determination in sticking with this issue until the end," said Blair Horner, Legislative Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Rachel Leon, Executive Director for Common Cause, welcomed the passage of the legislation. "It is an important victory for sunshine in New York State. It was a missing link in campaign reporting since we were unable to track campaign expenditures on the local level. Congratulations to Sandy Galef and John Flanagan for taking the legislation through both houses."