October 31, 2019 •

California Representative Resigns Amid Ethics Probe

Rep. Katie Hill resigned from her 25th Congressional District seat after an investigation of allegations that she violated House ethics rules. Gov. Gavin Newsom will have up to two weeks to set the date for a special election to fill […]

Rep. Katie Hill resigned from her 25th Congressional District seat after an investigation of allegations that she violated House ethics rules.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will have up to two weeks to set the date for a special election to fill the vacancy.

The special election could potentially coincide with the state’s March 3 primary election.

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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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October 14, 2019 •

California Governor Signs Lobbying and Campaign Finance Bills

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills addressing lobbying and campaign finance transparency. Assembly Bill 902 codifies current regulations into law, including regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration. Assembly Bill 201 broadens the definition of mass mailing […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills addressing lobbying and campaign finance transparency.

Assembly Bill 902 codifies current regulations into law, including regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration.

Assembly Bill 201 broadens the definition of mass mailing to include campaign-related mass texting. Mass text messages are required to include the name or image of a candidate, or refer to a ballot measure.

Additional bills passed address campaign spending by candidate committees.

Senate Bill 71 prohibits the expenditure of funds in a legal defense fund campaign account to pay or reimburse a candidate or elected officer for attorney’s fees or other legal costs.

The bill also prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay for fines, penalties, judgments, or settlements, except as specified.

The bills become effective on January 1, 2020.

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October 9, 2019 •

California Governor Signs Campaign Finance Bill

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a campaign finance bill imposing limits on contributions to candidates for elective county and city offices in jurisdictions that have not independently imposed contribution limits. Currently, a county or a city may, by ordinance or resolution, […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a campaign finance bill imposing limits on contributions to candidates for elective county and city offices in jurisdictions that have not independently imposed contribution limits.

Currently, a county or a city may, by ordinance or resolution, limit campaign contributions in local elections. However, many counties and cities have not imposed such limits.

Assembly Bill 571 establishes contribution limits of $4,700 per election to a candidate for elective office in a city or county in which the local government has not established a limit.

The bill also allows a local government to establish different limits that are more precisely tailored to the needs of the community.

Assembly Bill 571 becomes effective January 1, 2021.

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September 18, 2019 •

California Legislative Session Adjourns

California Capitol Building

The California Legislature adjourned the 2019 session on September 13. Campaign Finance Bills Passed The legislature passed several campaign finance bills during the session. Assembly Bill 220 prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay for professional services not directly […]

The California Legislature adjourned the 2019 session on September 13.

Campaign Finance Bills Passed

The legislature passed several campaign finance bills during the session.

Assembly Bill 220 prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay for professional services not directly related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose. The bill also authorizes the use of campaign funds to pay for child care expenses resulting from a candidate or officeholder engaging in campaign activities or performing official duties.

Assembly Bill 571 makes a technical, nonsubstantive change to a provision of the Political Reform Act of 1974. The provision prohibits candidates for elective state office or committees controlled by that candidate from making a contribution to another candidate for elective state office in excess of $3,000.

Senate Bill 71 prohibits the expenditure of funds in a legal defense fund campaign account to pay or reimburse a candidate or elected officer for attorney’s fees or other legal costs.

The bill also prohibits the use of campaign funds for fines, penalties, judgments, or settlements, except as specified.

Electioneering Bill Passed

Assembly Bill 201 broadens the definition of mass mailing to include campaign-related mass texting. Mass text messages will be required to include the name or image of a candidate or refer to a ballot measure.

Lobbying Bill Passed

Assembly Bill 902 codifies current regulations into law, including regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration.

The last day for the governor to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature during the 2019 legislative session is October 13.

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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 •

California Legislature Passes Lobbying Bill

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

On September 5, Gov. Gavin Newsom was presented with a bill codifying several current lobbying regulations into law. Assembly Bill 902 codifies lobbyist regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration. If signed by the governor, the bill takes effect […]

On September 5, Gov. Gavin Newsom was presented with a bill codifying several current lobbying regulations into law.

Assembly Bill 902 codifies lobbyist regulations regarding filing deadlines, bookkeeping, and lobbyist registration.

If signed by the governor, the bill takes effect on January 1, 2020.

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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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August 19, 2019 •

NYCU Video Digest – August 19, 2019

Four more states making changes to lobbying and ethics laws. Find out which jurisdictions in this edition of News You Can Use Video Digest!

Four more states making changes to lobbying and ethics laws. Find out which jurisdictions in this edition of News You Can Use Video Digest!

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August 15, 2019 •

California Electioneering and Issue Lobbying Communication Bill Sent to Senate

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

A bill requiring a person who makes payments of $10,000 or more for electioneering or issue lobbying communications to make specified disclosures has passed the Assembly and has been sent to the Senate. Assembly Bill 1217 would require a person […]

A bill requiring a person who makes payments of $10,000 or more for electioneering or issue lobbying communications to make specified disclosures has passed the Assembly and has been sent to the Senate.

Assembly Bill 1217 would require a person making payments for electioneering or issue lobbying communications to disclose the names of the persons providing the funding for those payments and to maintain records to verify the accuracy of the required disclosures.

The bill would also amend and update the definitions of electioneering communication and issue lobbying communication.

If passed, the bill will take effect immediately.

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July 29, 2019 •

San Diego City Council Amends Municipal Lobbying Ordinance

Downtown San Diego, California

The San Diego City Council passed an ordinance amending lobbying rules based on recommendations from the city Ethics Commission. Ordinance 2019-148 modifies the definition of “activity expense” to include any payment made by a lobbyist to a city official if […]

The San Diego City Council passed an ordinance amending lobbying rules based on recommendations from the city Ethics Commission.

Ordinance 2019-148 modifies the definition of “activity expense” to include any payment made by a lobbyist to a city official if during the previous 12 months the lobbyist engaged in lobbying the city official’s department, agency, or city board.

The ordinance also changes the disclosure of employment-related activity expenses from specific dollar amounts to one of seven disclosure categories.

If signed by the mayor, the ordinance takes effect in 2020 when the first quarter filing is due.

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July 22, 2019 •

NYCU Video Digest – July 22, 2019

Four more states making campaign finance and lobbying changes. Check out which states are passing legislation in this week’s NYCU Video Digest!

Four more states making campaign finance and lobbying changes. Check out which states are passing legislation in this week’s NYCU Video Digest!

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July 18, 2019 •

San Francisco Pay-To-Play Ballot Measure

San Francisco, California - Noahnmf

Voters will have a chance in November to increase the restrictions on political contributions in the latest campaign finance proposal aimed at pay-to-play. The Sunlight on Dark Money ballot initiative requires greater disclosure of who is behind campaign advertisements paid […]

Voters will have a chance in November to increase the restrictions on political contributions in the latest campaign finance proposal aimed at pay-to-play.

The Sunlight on Dark Money ballot initiative requires greater disclosure of who is behind campaign advertisements paid for by PACs.

The measure requires the top three largest donors of the committee paying for the advertisement to disclose the name and amount contributed to the committee.

If any of the three belong to another committee, they must disclose the top two donors of that committee as well.

The measure would also prohibit top executives in development companies from contributing to candidates or current office holders of the Board of Supervisors, mayor, and city attorney.

The prohibition will be in effect while a project they have financial interest in is pending approval, or for 12 months after the city makes a final decision on the project.

The measure will also close a loophole allowing LLCs and LLPs to contribute to candidates despite an existing ban on those donations from corporations.

The measure would take effect 10 days after the election results are certified.

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July 16, 2019 •

California Governor Signs Expenditure Bill

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on July 12 to clarify language related to preelection statements and income from gifts and business entities. Assembly Bill 903 requires preelection statements to disclose contributions and independent expenditures made to a state, county, or […]

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on July 12 to clarify language related to preelection statements and income from gifts and business entities.

Assembly Bill 903 requires preelection statements to disclose contributions and independent expenditures made to a state, county, or city general purpose committee or made to support or oppose a candidate or measure appearing on the ballot at a specified election.

The specified election will be the next election for certain state or county general purpose committees and elected state officers or candidates for elective state office.

The bill also amends the definition of expenditure to include communications paid for with public moneys by a state or local government agency.

The bill will take effect on January 1, 2020.

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