The Democratic-led Assembly on Wednesday approved two bills that seek to clarify both political action committees, independent expenditure groups and the use of so-called “housekeeping” or soft money accounts used by party committees.

“Now more than ever, we must work to restore our constituents’ confidence in our electoral process,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “These bills would help to ensure that the voices of all New Yorkers are heard and to limit the influence of big money in politics.”

One bill, backed by Assemblyman Michael Cusick, clarifies the distinction between political action committees and independent expenditure groups, which have grown in spending and scope in state campaigns following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision.

The Cusick bill provides for contribution limits to both PACs and IEs as well as penalties for violating the caps. IEs would be barred from donating directly to candidates.

There is no Senate same-as.

A separate bill, also approved today, would shore up the legal uses for housekeeping accounts, which are used by party conference committees and can raise unlimited funds with no contribution limits (then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2012 gave Senate Republicans $1 million to their housekeeping account).

The money cannot be spent on a specific candidate, but can be used on purposes such headquarters, staff and other office-related functions.

The bill would regulate housekeeping accounts so that any transferred funds are kept in a separate account and not used for unintended activities, such as funding a candidate.

“These bills are a step in the right direction toward campaign finance reform,” Cusick said. “Election laws are essential to democracy and cannot be left open to interpretation. Providing clear definitions and imposing penalties for breaking the law will help level the playing field and allow for more honest elections.”