ASSEMBLY, No. 3874

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 27, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits business receiving State development subsidies from making certain campaign contributions.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act prohibiting businesses receiving State development subsidies from making certain campaign contributions and supplementing P.L.1973, c.83 (C.19:44A-1 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Development subsidy" means the authorizing of or providing to a recipient business an amount of funds by or from a State agency with a value of not less than $25,000 for the purpose of stimulating economic development in New Jersey, including, but not limited to, any bond, grant, loan, loan guarantee, matching fund, or any tax expenditure.  "Development subsidy" shall not mean: a. any contract under which a State agency purchases or otherwise procures goods, services, or construction on an unsubsidized basis, including any contract solely for the construction or renovation of a facility owned by a State agency; b. any authorizing or providing of funds by or from a State agency to a recipient business, including by means of a tax expenditure, for the exclusive purpose of the development or production of affordable housing, for the exclusive purpose of subsidizing site remediation, recycling, commuter transportation assistance, pollution reduction, energy conservation, or other programs to improve the environment, or for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to employees of the recipient business; or c. any authorizing or providing of funds by or from a State agency to a non-profit organization, including by means of a tax expenditure, for the exclusive purpose of subsidizing the development of facilities used to provide recreational, educational, arts, or cultural programs, or childcare or healthcare services.

     “Person” shall have the same meaning as provided in section 37 of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-37).

     "State agency" means the State of New Jersey or any agency, instrumentality, or authority of the State that provides a development subsidy to a recipient business and, in the case of a tax expenditure related to any tax paid to the State, “State agency” means the State Treasurer or the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, as applicable.  “State agency” shall not mean a political subdivision of the State.

     "Recipient business" means any non-governmental person, business, corporation, association, operation, firm, partnership, trust, or other form of business association or other business entity during one or more calendar years in which the business receives a development subsidy, or any benefit thereof, from a State agency.

     "Tax expenditure" means the amount of foregone tax collections due to any abatement, reduction, exemption, or credit against any State tax, including, but not limited to, taxes on raw materials, inventories or other assets, taxes on gross receipts, income, or sales, and any use, excise, or utility tax.  "Tax expenditure" shall not mean any credit against any tax liability of an employee or any personal exemption, homestead rebate, credit, or deduction for the expenses of a household or individual, or other reduction of the tax liability of an individual or household.

 

     2.    A recipient business, or any holding, affiliate, or subsidiary company thereof, or any officer, director, key employee, or principal employee of a recipient business or of any holding, affiliate, or subsidiary company thereof, or any person or agent on behalf of a recipient business, holding, affiliate, or subsidiary company thereof, shall not directly or indirectly, pay or contribute any money or thing of value to any candidate for nomination or election to any public office in this State, or to any political party committee or legislative leadership committee in this State, or to any group, committee, or association organized in support of that candidate or political party, except that the provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit any individual who is a candidate for public office in this State from contributing to the individual's own campaign.

 

     3.    a.  Any person who is determined by the Election Law Enforcement Commission to have made, or caused to be made, a political contribution prohibited by the provisions of P.L.    , c.  (C.) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and subject to the penalties therefor, except that the amount of a fine may be up to $200,000, and in the case of a person other than a natural person, the amount of a fine may be up to $500,000.

     b.    A recipient business which is determined by the Election Law Enforcement Commission to have willfully and intentionally made a contribution or failed to reveal a contribution in violation of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) may be liable to a penalty of up to the value of its development subsidy with the State agency, may be ineligible for any remaining amount of the development subsidy, and may be debarred by the State Treasurer from contracting with a State agency or receiving a development subsidy for up to five years from the date of the violation.

 

     4.    Any candidate for nomination or election to any public office in this State, who is determined by the Election Law Enforcement Commission to have willfully and intentionally solicited or accepted a contribution in violation of the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be liable to a penalty for each violation equal to the penalties set forth in subsection e. of section 22 of P.L.1973, c.83 (C.19:44A-22).

 

     5.    The Election Law Enforcement Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill prohibits a business, or any holding company or affiliate of the business, or an officer, director, or key or principal employee of the business, from making campaign contributions to candidates for nomination or election to any public office in the State during a period when the business is receiving a development subsidy totaling $25,000 or more from a State agency or authority.  The prohibition does not prohibit any individual who is a candidate for public office in this State from contributing to the individual's own campaign.

     A violation of this prohibition would be a crime of the fourth degree, except that the amount of a fine may be up to $200,000, and in the case of a person other than a natural person, the amount of a fine may be up to $500,000.  Further, a recipient business found to have willfully and intentionally made a contribution or failed to reveal a contribution may be liable to a penalty of up to the value of its development subsidy with the State agency, may be ineligible for any remaining amount of the development subsidy, and may be debarred by the State Treasurer from contracting with any State agency or receiving a development subsidy for up to five years.

     The bill provides that a candidate for nomination or election to any public office in this State who solicits or accepts a political contribution prohibited by the bill is liable to a penalty for each violation as set forth in current law in N.J.S.A.19:44A-22.