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  • NJ A5115
  • Imposes limits on total amount of money that may be raised and spent for State and local elections.
Introduced
(7/13/2017)
In Committee
(7/13/2017)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill imposes limitation on the total amount of money that may be raised or spent for State and local elections. Under the bill, the amount that a candidate, or the candidate's immediate family, may raise or spend in connection with a campaign for nomination for, or election to, a State or local public office may not exceed: (1) $6.4 million in the case of a candidate for Governor in a primary election and $13.8 million in the case of candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in a general election. (2) one-fortieth of the total amount that a candidate for Governor in a primary election, and candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in a general election, may raise or spend pursuant to this subsection in the case of a candidate for the office of member of the Legislature; (3) one-twentieth of the total amount that a candidate for Governor in a primary election, and candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in a general election, may raise or spend pursuant to this subsection in the case of a candidate for a county elective office; and (4) one-fortieth of the total amount that a candidate for Governor in a primary election, and candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in a general election, may raise or spend pursuant to this subsection in the case of a candidate for a municipal elective office. The bill directs the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) to adjust the total amount candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor may raise or spend in connection with a campaign. ELEC would perform this adjustment in the same manner that ELEC currently adjusts the threshold for receiving public financing for campaigns for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Additionally, the bill suspends, for one gubernatorial election cycle, adjustments to the threshold for receiving public financing during an election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Freezing the adjustment for one election cycle ensures that the limit on the total amount of money that may be raised or spent on election campaigns does not align with the public financing limits. In the absence of this freeze, every candidate for Governor and Lieutenant Governor would qualify for public financing. The bill further limits the amount that a person or entity may raise or spend to aid or promote the election of another candidate to a State or local public. Under the bill, the total amount that a person or entity, other than the candidate, may raise or spend in connection with a campaign for nomination for, or election to, a State or local public office may not exceed: (1) the total amount that candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor may raise or spend in a general election under this bill in the case of a State political party committee; (2) the total amount candidates for county elective office may raise or spend in a general election under this bill in the case of a county political party committee; (3) one-fourth of the total amount that an individual candidate would be permitted to raise or spend for a particular office under this bill in the case of a municipal political party committee; and (4) the total amount that an individual candidate would be permitted to raise or spend for a particular office under this bill in the case of an individual, corporation, labor organization, political committee, continuing political committee, or any other group. The total amount that a candidate, who has established a candidate committee, joint candidate committee, or both, the candidate's campaign treasurer, deputy treasurer, or the candidate committee may raise or spend on another candidate cannot exceed the total amount that the other candidate would be permitted to raise or spend on his or her own campaign for a particular office under this bill. This bill would take effect December 1 following the general election for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor next following the date of enactment; provided that the voters of the State have approved an amendment to the State Constitution allowing the Legislature to impose by law reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates and other persons or entities may raise or expend in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate for nomination for, or election to, a State or local elective public office. The need for candidates to raise and spend enormous sums of money has bred cynicism and distrust among the public and has created an electoral system dominated by special interests. The State has a compelling interest in preventing the extraordinary power of private wealth from affecting the outcome of elections. This State's compelling interest in preventing the erosion of the public's confidence in the democratic process justifies reasonable limits on the total amount of money that candidates and others may raise and spend in State and local elections. This bill is narrowly tailored to address the State's compelling interest in maintaining trust in the democratic process. The limitations set forth in this bill are the least restrictive means available for ensuring that the infusion of large sums of money in campaigns for State and local public office does not erode the public's trust in democracy.
Judiciary
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee  (on 7/13/2017)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
7/13/2017 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified