After the New Jersey Senate passed S1500, the so-called “dark money” bill, last month, the Assembly version of the bill has now been reported out of committee and is expected to be voted upon by the full Assembly as early as March 25.
The Senate version of the bill would require 501(c)(4) organizations that are active in New Jersey elections or lobbying efforts to register with ELEC and disclose donors and expenditures that meet the reporting thresholds. The Assembly version (A1524) maintains the key components of the Senate version, but would expand the scope of the registration and reporting requirements to include 501(c)(6) trade associations.
The Assembly bill also removes the requirement, introduced in the Senate bill, that registration and reporting be retroactive to January 1, 2018. Instead, under the Assembly version of the bill, registration would only be required following enactment of the law.
After consideration by the full Assembly and then additional review by the Senate, the bill ultimately may be subject to additional changes.
But while additional edits may be coming, the time is now for New Jersey’s trade associations to understand the potential implications of this bill and how their lobbying and political efforts may change if this bill is signed into law.