Posted at: 04/30/2013 11:51 AM
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's ethics board has proposed easing the standard for financial disclosure by lobbying groups if they feel threatened and changing the rules for gifts to officials.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics says some lobbyists may need greater protection from disclosing how they spent money to influence lawmakers if they feel individuals, donors, or their property could be endangered.
The current measure allows lobbyists to keep their donors and potentially other financial data secret if there is a "substantial likelihood" of harm. The new measure recommended by staff would relax that standard to a "reasonable" likelihood or probability of harm.
The definition of harm isn't clear. A common example is concern over identifying donors to abortion rights groups.
The commission says Tuesday it's also considering a detailed gift ban.
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