Monday, April 19, 2010

Albany Lawmakers Propose Shareholder Rights As Citizens United Response

Last Week, New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Brooklyn/Manhattan, and Assemblyman Rory Lancman, D-Queens, proposed a bill which would require shareholder approval before a New York corporation could spend in politics. The bill also requires more transparency by mandating that companies tell shareholders of their past political spending. The new bill mirrors language proposed by the Brennan Center’s Ciara Torres-Spelliscy in her report, “Corporate Campaign Spending: Giving Shareholders A Voice” which encourages Congress to make similar changes at the federal level. Congress has a similar bill called the Shareholder Protection Act (H.R. 4790). If Congress fails to act, shareholders will need protections from state laws like this New York State bill. The Senate will be holding hearings on this and other election reform bills this week.

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