New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally signed his administration’s signature political law reform bill last week, on August 24, 2016. The bill passed out of the New York legislature earlier this year and will have a significant impact on state-level Super PACs, nonprofit organizations involved in lobbying efforts in New York, and political consultants, in particular.
The bill’s provisions affecting Super PACs will be effective 30 days after the signature date, meaning that the new law will now be in place for the November general elections and many of the new lobbying-related disclosures will take effect before the next legislative session. It remains to be seen, though, how quickly the New York state agencies tasked with enforcing and implementing the new law will develop the forms for the registrations and reporting now required under the law for New York Super PACs, political consultants, and nonprofit organizations.
Interestingly, before it was signed, the bill drew criticism over the donor disclosure requirements that it imposes on nonprofit organizations such as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations and 501(c)(3) charities that are engaged in lobbying and other issue advocacy in New York. These provisions could be the subject of a lawsuit on constitutional grounds, which would further delay their impact.
For more details on the major changes under the new law, please see our earlier coverage of the bill.