March 27, 2020 •

California FPPC Extending Form 700 Deadline

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is allowing a 60-day extension for those required to file a 2019 annual Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700). This two-month extension means forms normally due on April […]

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is allowing a 60-day extension for those required to file a 2019 annual Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700).

This two-month extension means forms normally due on April 1, 2020, will be accepted by the FPPC as timely until June 1.

The extension will apply to all officials required to file in April.

The FPPC intends to formally ratify this extension at its April 2 special meeting.

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March 26, 2020 •

FPPC Offers Guidance on Behested Payment Reporting in Wake of COVID-19

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

Individuals and businesses in California are coming to the aide of those in need through donations of money and supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In many instances, elected officials are instrumental in raising donations for these purposes, whether for […]

Individuals and businesses in California are coming to the aide of those in need through donations of money and supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

In many instances, elected officials are instrumental in raising donations for these purposes, whether for charitable or government organizations.

In doing so, an elected official should be aware of and may be required to file a behested payment report.

The current statewide shelter-in-place order, closure of government offices, and various other circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic may make it difficult to file these reports on time.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) encourages elected officials to make best efforts to timely file behested payment reports.

If circumstances caused by the pandemic inhibit an official’s ability to file reports, the official should communicate these issues to their agency and document all attempts to file and the issues faced.

If an official makes best efforts to comply with the Political Reform Act’s behested payment reporting rules but is unable to do so due to the pandemic, the FPPC will consider this a strong mitigating factor in determining whether an enforcement action against the official is appropriate.

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March 20, 2020 •

FPPC Offers Guidance on Campaign Finance Filings in Wake of COVID-19

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

In light of the statewide shelter-in-place order, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) understands the unique and extraordinary situation caused by the united efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The FPPC recognizes offices around the state are closed and […]

In light of the statewide shelter-in-place order, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) understands the unique and extraordinary situation caused by the united efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FPPC recognizes offices around the state are closed and the stay at home directive makes the filing of campaign statements and reports difficult.

An advisory has been issued encouraging candidates and committees to continue to make best efforts to timely disclose campaign activity to the public.

State and local candidates are encouraged to make use of electronic filing options, if available.

All candidates and committees filing campaign statements and reports with the Office of the Secretary or State may use the online filing system.

Local candidates and committees should contact their local filing officers to determine if electronic filing is available in their jurisdiction.

If a candidate or committee makes best efforts to comply with the Political Reform Act’s campaign finance disclosure rules but is unable to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FPPC will consider this a strong mitigating factor in determining whether an enforcement action against the candidate or committee is appropriate.

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March 18, 2020 •

FPPC Offers Guidance on Form 700 Deadline in Wake of COVID-19

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) encourages filers who have access to an electronic Form 700 filing system to take advantage of its use. This comes in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming Form 700 Statement […]

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) encourages filers who have access to an electronic Form 700 filing system to take advantage of its use.

This comes in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests filing deadline on April 1, 2020.

If electronic filing is not available, filers are strongly encouraged to submit forms by mail rather than in person.

Statements postmarked on or before the filing deadline are considered timely filed.

The FPPC’s advice telephone line is closed until further notice.

However, they continue to timely respond to requests for advice via email.

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November 8, 2019 •

California Fair Political Practices Commission Proposes Materiality Standard Amendments

On December 19, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) will consider proposed amendments to the materiality standard in both Regulations 18702.4 and 18702.5. The proposed amendment to Regulation 18702.4 would set the appropriate materiality standards for economic interests in sources […]

On December 19, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) will consider proposed amendments to the materiality standard in both Regulations 18702.4 and 18702.5.

The proposed amendment to Regulation 18702.4 would set the appropriate materiality standards for economic interests in sources of gifts.

Standards would be such that a financial effect on a nonprofit source of income would be considered material if the source is a nonprofit organization that will be financially affected under the materiality standards applied to a nonprofit source of income interest.

The FPPC would also repeal the existing Regulation 18702.5 and adopt new language.

New language would update the materiality standard applicable to a personal financial effect for improved clarity and guidance.

Language would make that standard an objective, bright-line standard, met when a decision would have a personal financial effect worth $500 or more rather than when the official or the official’s immediate family member will receive a measurable financial benefit or loss from the decision.

The FPPC is accepting written comments on the proposals until December 17, 2019.

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October 16, 2019 •

California FPPC Updates Campaign Disclosure Manuals

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has revised the Campaign Disclosure Manuals. Revisions were made to incorporate Disclose Act legislation, including updated ad disclosure charts. There were also revisions made to reflect the new contribution limits that became effective on […]

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has revised the Campaign Disclosure Manuals.

Revisions were made to incorporate Disclose Act legislation, including updated ad disclosure charts.

There were also revisions made to reflect the new contribution limits that became effective on January 1, 2019, along with other non-substantive changes.

FPPC staff plans to present the updated manuals for approval at the November 21, 2019 meeting.

Interested persons may submit comments and suggestions by November 12.

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September 10, 2019 •

FPPC Providing Ethics and Campaign Finance Enforcement for Local Governments

Sacramento, CA Skyline - Basil D Soufi

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has unveiled a template contract for cities, counties, and districts allowing the FPPC to enforce local ethics and campaign finance laws. The FPPC voted earlier this year to pursue agreements with localities to bring […]

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has unveiled a template contract for cities, counties, and districts allowing the FPPC to enforce local ethics and campaign finance laws.

The FPPC voted earlier this year to pursue agreements with localities to bring enhanced transparency and cost savings to local governments.

The template contract spells out the scope of work including advising, informing, auditing, and enforcing any local campaign finance and ethics ordinances, and the amount paid to the FPPC for such services.

The FPPC will ensure candidates and campaigns are following the rules and public officials are adhering to ethical standards.

Additionally, the FPPC will provide a service already in place so local governments don’t have to create their own.

The template contract can be found on the FPPC website.

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September 10, 2019 •

FPPC Proposes Sponsored Committee Amendments

On October 18, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) will consider proposed amendments adding language to help determine when a committee reaches the 80% threshold for qualification as a sponsored committee. The threshold will be determined by all contributions received […]

On October 18, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) will consider proposed amendments adding language to help determine when a committee reaches the 80% threshold for qualification as a sponsored committee.

The threshold will be determined by all contributions received by a committee in the preceding 24 months.

A committee will also be required to determine if it qualifies as a sponsored committee, or if a sponsor changed, at the time of filing each campaign statement.

The proposed amendments would also provide additional guidance regarding the appropriate terms which should be used to describe the industry or group affiliation of multiple sponsors.

The FPPC is accepting written comments on the proposals until October 16, 2019.

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November 19, 2018 •

FPPC Approves Cost of Living Adjustments for Gift Limits

On November 15, the California Fair Political Practices Commission approved proposed regulations to make biennial cost of living adjustments to campaign contribution and gift limits that will apply from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. The proposed regulations would […]

On November 15, the California Fair Political Practices Commission approved proposed regulations to make biennial cost of living adjustments to campaign contribution and gift limits that will apply from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020.

The proposed regulations would change the gift limit from $470 to $500 and make increases to campaign contribution limits for candidates.

Adjusted contribution limits for gubernatorial candidates would increase from $29,200 to $31,000.

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August 10, 2018 •

California FPPC to Consider Use of Cryptocurrency for Campaign Purposes

The Fair Political Practices Commission is considering changes to state campaign finance regulations. The commission was asked to consider the permissible use of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, for campaign contributions and expenditures. Though similar to cash, such currency is not […]

The Fair Political Practices Commission is considering changes to state campaign finance regulations.

The commission was asked to consider the permissible use of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, for campaign contributions and expenditures. Though similar to cash, such currency is not issued by a governmental entity.

Issues expected to be discussed at a public hearing include banning the use of cryptocurrency for campaign purposes, limiting cryptocurrency contributions to the amount of contributions received in cash, requiring cryptocurrency contributions to be converted to cash, permitting committees to establish separate cryptocurrency accounts, or permitting cryptocurrency contributions as in-kind contributions without regard to cash limits.

A public hearing will be held September 20, 2018; written comments should be received by September 18.

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July 24, 2018 •

Gov. Jerry Brown Appoints New FPPC Chair

Alice Germond was appointed chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission last month. Germond and the commissioners are working to boost voter trust in the commission “so that they have faith when they go to the election booth that […]

Alice Germond was appointed chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission last month.

Germond and the commissioners are working to boost voter trust in the commission “so that they have faith when they go to the election booth that their vote is not bought and that the playing field is level and that the basic part of democracy is working for them.”

Germond will be the chair until January, when the newly-elected governor will have the option to appoint a new chairperson.

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October 12, 2017 •

California Governor Signs Two Campaign Finance Bills

On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 267 and Senate Bill 358 into law. Senate Bill 267 authorizes the Fair Political Practices Commission to have primary responsibility for the impartial, administration, implementation, and enforcement of a local campaign finance […]

On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 267 and Senate Bill 358 into law.

Senate Bill 267 authorizes the Fair Political Practices Commission to have primary responsibility for the impartial, administration, implementation, and enforcement of a local campaign finance reform of the city of Sacramento, effective immediately.

Senate Bill 358 requires the secretary of state’s website to post hyperlinks to the website of any local government agency containing publicly disclosed campaign finance information.

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August 28, 2017 •

California Disclose Act Gets Closer to Passage

Assembly Bill 249, also known as the “California Disclose Act,” will be heard in the Senate on August 29. The bill requires most campaign ads to display their top three funders, even if those contributions were funneled through other committees. […]

Assembly Bill 249, also known as the “California Disclose Act,” will be heard in the Senate on August 29. The bill requires most campaign ads to display their top three funders, even if those contributions were funneled through other committees.

Similar versions of AB 249 have been introduced without passage since 2012. A similar bill from 2016 failed by one vote in the Senate. Last year’s bill was opposed by the California Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC) due to the bill’s language making enforcement difficult.

The current version of the bill underwent changes to make the proposed law more acceptable to opponents and the FPPC has remained neutral.

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August 17, 2017 •

FPPC Votes to Change Recall Election Campaign Finance Rule

On August 17, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) voted to reverse a longstanding rule that limited how much money politicians and their committees can give to a candidate-controlled recall committee. The 2002 FPPC opinion that was reversed by today’s […]

On August 17, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) voted to reverse a longstanding rule that limited how much money politicians and their committees can give to a candidate-controlled recall committee.

The 2002 FPPC opinion that was reversed by today’s vote limited politician contributions to candidate-controlled recall committees to $4,400.

The rule change now allows politicians to give unlimited amounts of money to help fight the recall of Democratic Senator Josh Newman.

Chair Jodi Remke was the only dissenting commissioner in the 3-1 final vote.

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