Election Law

April 1, 2008

Governor Corzine has expanded the categories of contributions that may bar vendors from receiving State contracts. In order to prevent your company from being barred from receiving a State contract or forfeiting an existing one, vendors who previously made political contributions to municipal party committees and legislative leadership committees should carefully review newly enacted Executive Order 117 and its ramifications.

In enacting Executive Order 117, Governor Corzine extended the reach of existing contribution prohibitions governing State vendors. Under the previously existing provisions of Chapter 51 (Pay-to-Play), State contractors and all principals owning or controlling more than 10 percent of that entity were barred from making reportable contributions State political party committees, county political party committees and gubernatorial candidates. Effective November 15, 2008, EO 117 expanded these restrictions by also banning reportable contributions to legislative leadership committees, municipal party committees, and this years inaugural candidates for Lieutenant Governor. EO 117 also significantly enlarged the complement of entities and individuals whose contributions preclude the receipt of a State contract or result in the loss of an existing agreement.

The potential penalties that accompany a violation of Chapter 51 (as modified by EO 117) can be severe and result in the loss of an existing contract, liability for a penalty up to the value of the contract and debarment from future contracts by the State Treasurer for a period of up to 5 years. While EO 117 adds complexity to the political process and increases risks for those who are not fully informed of its provisions, one need not retreat from the political spectrum.

The attorneys at Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt & Fader possess the expert knowledge you need to stay engaged in the political process and in complete compliance with the new pay-to-play rules. For more information on this subject, please contact Steven Srenaski, Esq. at SSrenaski@fpsflawfirm.com or 908-454-8300.

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