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First Phase of New York City's Pay-to-Play Limits Now in Effect

March 2008

On February 2, 2008, strict limits on campaign contributions to New York City candidates by certain officers and owners of many city contractors became effective. As we described in our September 2007 newsletter, campaign contributions are now capped at $400 for city wide races, $320 for borough wide races, and $250 for City Council races.

In addition, these campaign contribution limits now also apply to all New York City registered lobbyists and their families. If an organization is registered as a lobbyist with the city, the campaign contribution limits apply not only to the organization and its lobbyists but also to certain non-lobbyist officers and employees of the organization and their families. Note that these lobbyist contribution limits apply to all lobbyists registered with New York City, regardless of whether they have a covered contract with the city.

Subsequent phases of this law will extend coverage of the pay-to-play campaign contribution limits to additional types of contractors as well as to additional officers of covered city contractors. Given the breadth of the coverage and the implementation phases to come, all companies that contract with New York City or are registered as lobbyists with the city should ensure that the appropriate officers and employees are apprised of these campaign contribution limits.