Governor Murphy Strengthens Legislation Requiring Disclosure by Independent Expenditure Committees
Governor’s Conditional Veto Eliminates Loopholes, Expands Scope of State’s Pay-to-Play Laws, and Requires Disclosure for Tax Credit Recipients
TRENTON – Today, Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed S1500 (Singleton, Greenstein/Zwicker, Benson, Sumter), returning the bill to the Legislature with recommendations to strengthen disclosure requirements, eliminate loopholes, expand the scope of the State’s pay-to-play laws, refine provisions to more closely apply to election activity, and subject entities receiving or transferring more than $25,000 in tax credit subsidies to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission’s (ELEC) contribution disclosure requirements.
“Strengthening disclosure requirements will help bring greater transparency to the work of government and enhance public trust in the political process,” said Governor Murphy. “Sadly, S1500, as currently written, falls short of that goal. The bill contains egregious loopholes that fail to create reasonable and consistent disclosure standards across the board. As a result, I am conditionally vetoing the legislation to make it stronger – eliminating loopholes, expanding the scope of the State’s pay-to-pay laws, tying certain provisions more closely to election activity, and subjecting the recipients of large-scale tax credits and other subsidies to ELEC disclosure requirements. I call on the Legislature to join me in strengthening these disclosure requirements and bring heightened transparency to the work of government.”
"Governor Murphy's conditional veto provides a mulligan for the Legislature to get dark money disclosure right. The Legislature's haste provided a set of unintentional loopholes and consequences that would have created constitutional challenges," said Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey. "This legislation would have created a chilling effect on the impact of citizen organizations to engage in lobbying decision-makers and agencies as well as voter registration drives. Governor Murphy gets this right -- you can disclose dark money in our electoral process without kneecapping citizen based lobbying organizations."
“We applaud Governor Murphy for fixing the poorly written “Dark Money” bill with many improvements, including ensuring every day New Jerseyans who are serving their communities in elected office don’t have to choose between serving their communities and what they do for work,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, a statewide environmental 501(c)(4), and a member of his local Board of Education.
Highlights of the Governor’s conditional veto include:
Closing Loopholes –
Refining Scope of Legislation to More Closely Link to Electioneering Activity and Pass Constitutional Muster –
Eliminating Public Office Holders Provision –
Expanding State’s Pay-to-Play Laws –
Subjecting Recipients of Large-Scale Tax Credits and Other Subsidies to ELEC Contribution Disclosure Requirements –
A copy of the Governor’s conditional veto may be found here.