Assemblywoman Galef Announces the Implementation of Her Campaign Finance Reform Legislation

Local Candidates to File Campaign Finances Electronically
January 17, 2006
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, 90th Assembly District, announces that her campaign reform legislation (A.6533/S.5856) was enacted into law, as of January 1, 2006 saying local candidates for office now have to file their campaign contributions and expenses electronically.

This legislation ensures that campaign contributions are electronically filed for political committees and candidates running in local elections and raising or spending more than $1,000. Along with the sponsorship of Senator John Flanagan, Assemblywoman Galef’s legislation was enacted after years of persistence. The legislation was signed by Governor Pataki on August 2, 2005.

For campaign information regarding contributions and expenditures of candidates and committees the public can go on the New York State Board of Elections website at: www.elections.state.ny.us. The newest filing is as of January 15, 2006.

“I am proud to be part of bettering New York’s election system. New Yorkers will now have improved access to all election finance information,” Galef said.

Until now, campaign finance reports were filed in paper format with local boards of elections only, making it difficult to monitor campaign contributions. This legislation still allows the filing at the local level in paper format but requires computer filing with the State Board of Elections in Albany.

The law 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,” said Galef.

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