New Law Ensures NY Non-Profits Can’t Fight, Boost Candidates

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ALBANY — New York will prohibit non-profits from backing or fighting political candidates even if existing federal restrictions are weakened.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he signed such a law Wednesday.

New York law now enshrines what’s known as the federal Johnson Amendment. That federal tax code provision since 1954 has prevented non-profits from endorsing candidates or donating to campaigns.

Democratic Sen. Liz Krueger says big-money donors could launder campaign contributions through houses of worships if the federal government repeals the restriction.

Critics aiming to repeal the Johnson Amendment argue it infringes free speech. Trump signed a 2017 executive order to ensure religious groups can speak about politics from a religious perspective.

New York’s attorney general filed a 2018 civil complaint alleging the now-dissolved Donald J. Trump Foundation violated the Johnson Amendment.


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