The New York state Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that would require the disclosure of information relating to lobbying for the nomination or confirmation of individuals to state office positions.

It aims to close a loophole that allows lobbyists to work in secret when promoting or opposing candidates for judgeships and other state offices. The bill, which passed the Senate 44-17, would require lobbyists to disclose their activities related to appointments that require Senate confirmation, just as they already disclose activities related to promoting or opposing legislation.

“There is a glaring loophole that allows significant amounts of money to be spent influencing the appointment process, without the ability for the public to discover where the money is coming from,” Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, who crafted the bill, said in a statement. "The decisions many of these appointees make warrants greater openness into the lobbying efforts throughout the process. My legislation would shine a light on these opaque actions and would create the transparency New Yorkers deserve."

This issue came to light after Gov. Kathy Hochul nominated Hector LaSalle for chief judge of the state Court of Appeals in 2022. Outside groups poured money into what is typically a routine confirmation, turning the process into a political one. LaSalle's nomination was ulitmately defeated.

The Legislature passed the same legislation last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Hochul. She implied in her veto that their efforts to close the loophole went too far.


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