For the second year in a row, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation that would have prohibited state agencies from including advertisements on mailings if they were closely related to the agencies’ regulatory authority or mission. The purpose of the bill would be to prevent any implied endorsement of a product or company in official state mailings. An example would be an ad from an insurance company on an auto-registration renewal reminder, according to the Professional Insurance Agents of New York State.
The governor wrote that the legislation would prohibit agencies from entering into “valuable public-private partnership opportunities.” State agencies need to have the ability to use everything available to them to maximize their savings, he said.
“Indeed, if enacted, this bill could have the unintended consequence of increasing costs to the State of engaging in public outreach. The risk of any implied endorsement of a particular product or service can easily be mitigated with a disclaimer that the STate agency is not promoting or endorsing the product or service, and I will direct State agencies to include such a disclaimer on any mailings to the public that include advertisements relating to the mission of the agency,” the veto message said.
The Professional Insurance Agents of New York State supported the bill, which would have provided an exception if advertisements were designed to promote agency programs, facilities or operations. The group has said that including ads that are closely related to an agency’s regulatory authority “sends an inappropriate message that somehow the product or service is endorsed by the state,” and the practice is misleading and unfair.