As part of a continuing trend of New Jersey municipalities adopting local pay-to-play laws, Jersey City, NJ, has enacted an ordinance that “restricts city vendors that win no-bid contracts from donating more than $200 to the campaigns of school-board candidates and to some state Senate and Assembly candidates.” According to NJ.com, the ordinance also restricts contributions to local political action committees, advertising for municipal candidates, and participation in voter-registration and get out the vote drives. Supporters claim that the ordinance is the strictest in New Jersey. It was closely contested, passing 5-4. A competing, less strict pay-to-play law was tabled 6-3.
Jersey City is yet another reminder that pay-to-play laws are in constant flux. Government contractors should make sure that any contemplated contribution complies with current law.