October 30, 2017 •

California Governor Signs Bill to Modify Contribution Definition and Behested Payment Provisions

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 867 into law, recasting various provisions of the Political Reform Act regarding the definition of the term contribution. The law moves the behested payment reporting requirements out of the definition of contribution, and instead […]

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 867 into law, recasting various provisions of the Political Reform Act regarding the definition of the term contribution.

The law moves the behested payment reporting requirements out of the definition of contribution, and instead places those requirements in the part of the campaign disclosure sections of the act.

Additionally, the law provides specific definitions for terms related to behested payments and the reporting of such payments.  The law is effective January 1, 2018.

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October 20, 2017 •

California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Legislation

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed four bills into law – three amending the Political Reform Act and one amending post employment restrictions. Assembly Bill 867 states behested payments are not contributions and recasts the provisions defining the term “contribution.” Senate […]

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed four bills into law – three amending the Political Reform Act and one amending post employment restrictions.

Assembly Bill 867 states behested payments are not contributions and recasts the provisions defining the term “contribution.”

Senate Bill 45 prohibits sending mass mailings within the 60 days before an election by or on behalf of a candidate on the ballot.

Senate Bill 226 requires slate mailer organizations to disclose on any mailing whether the organization represents public safety personnel.

Assembly Bill 1620 extends the time frame a member of the Legislature can lobby after resignation from one year after leaving office to one year after the adjournment sine die of the session in which the resignation occurred.

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October 12, 2017 •

San Francisco Looks to Limit Behested Payments

The San Francisco Ethics Commission has proposed to place strict limits on behested payments. A behested payment is when a public official asks a person or group to donate to a civic or charitable cause instead of directly to the […]

The San Francisco Ethics Commission has proposed to place strict limits on behested payments.

A behested payment is when a public official asks a person or group to donate to a civic or charitable cause instead of directly to the public official, and the proposal would ban these requests. The penalty for officials could be $5,000 for each violation, but there would be no penalty for the donor.

If this proposal becomes an ordinance, the city’s Board of Supervisors would have to approve it. The commission could also put the changes on a ballot, which would be decided by voters in June of 2018.

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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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October 9, 2017 •

California Governor Signs Campaign Finance Disclosure Bill

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 249 on October 7, which amends the Political Reform Act. The bill requires campaign advertisements to identify the name of the committee paying for the advertisement, as well as clearly displaying the top three […]

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 249 on October 7, which amends the Political Reform Act.

The bill requires campaign advertisements to identify the name of the committee paying for the advertisement, as well as clearly displaying the top three contributors to that committee.

The bill also expands disclosure requirements for mass electronic mailings and telephone calls. The bill is effective immediately.

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September 28, 2017 •

California Moves Date of Presidential Primary

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 568 on September 27, moving up the state’s presidential primary to March 3, 2020. The date of the 2016 primary was in June, but the Legislature pushed for an earlier primary in an attempt […]

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 568 on September 27, moving up the state’s presidential primary to March 3, 2020.

The date of the 2016 primary was in June, but the Legislature pushed for an earlier primary in an attempt to have more of an impact on the national level.

The bill does not change the date of the 2018 primary.

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September 18, 2017 •

California Legislature Adjourns

The California Legislature adjourned in the early hours of September 16. Bills passed in the late-night session include Senate Bill 568, which would move the presidential primary election to March; Assembly Bill 249, which would require campaign advertisements to clearly […]

The California Legislature adjourned in the early hours of September 16.

Bills passed in the late-night session include Senate Bill 568, which would move the presidential primary election to March; Assembly Bill 249, which would require campaign advertisements to clearly display their largest funders; and Assembly Bill 132, which would require counties to provide additional voter education and requires every signature of a recall petition to be examined and verified.

The bills are now waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature or veto.

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September 18, 2017 •

Los Angeles Ethics Commission Looking to Amend Lobbying Ordinances

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission has recommended multiple changes to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance. These changes include increasing the registration threshold from $2,000 to $5,000; expanding the 501(c)(3) organization exemption; amending and adding definitions regarding lobbying; expanding gift restrictions; revising […]

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission has recommended multiple changes to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance.

These changes include increasing the registration threshold from $2,000 to $5,000; expanding the 501(c)(3) organization exemption; amending and adding definitions regarding lobbying; expanding gift restrictions; revising registration statements, deadlines, and fees; creating a bimonthly reporting calendar instead of quarterly; and increasing civil penalties for violations of lobbying laws.

The next commission meeting is on October 17, and comments regarding the proposal can be emailed to ethics.policy@lacity.org.

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September 15, 2017 •

Bill Amending Revolving Door for Lobbyists Awaits California Governor’s Signature

A bill further restricting revolving door provisions was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration. Assembly Bill 1620 would change the current law prohibiting legislators from lobbying from one year to up to three years, depending on when he or […]

A bill further restricting revolving door provisions was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration.

Assembly Bill 1620 would change the current law prohibiting legislators from lobbying from one year to up to three years, depending on when he or she steps down from office. The bill states a legislator could not lobby during the two-year session after he or she was elected, plus another full year after the session ends.

If signed by the governor, the bill is effective January 1, 2018.

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September 6, 2017 •

California Governor Signs Two Bills Amending the Political Reform Act of 1974

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 187 and Assembly Bill 551 into law on September 1, amending both lobbying and campaign finance laws. Assembly Bill 187 requires a committee to file a report within 10 business days of making a […]

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 187 and Assembly Bill 551 into law on September 1, amending both lobbying and campaign finance laws.

Assembly Bill 187 requires a committee to file a report within 10 business days of making a contribution or independent expenditure aggregating $5,000 or more to support or oppose the qualification of a single local initiative or referendum ballot measure.

Assembly Bill 551 extends revolving door restrictions to independent contractors of a local government agency or a public agency who are appearing or communicating on behalf of that agency.

Both bills are effective January 1, 2018.

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August 31, 2017 •

San Francisco Ethics Commission to Consider Pay-to-Play Ordinance

At its August 28, 2017, meeting, the San Francisco Ethics Commission discussed the adoption of the 2017 San Francisco Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance to revise city campaign and government conduct laws. The ordinance would create a series of new rules […]

At its August 28, 2017, meeting, the San Francisco Ethics Commission discussed the adoption of the 2017 San Francisco Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance to revise city campaign and government conduct laws.

The ordinance would create a series of new rules to reduce the incidence of pay-to-play politics by increasing the applicability of current pay-to-play laws to encompass more parties seeking contracts with the city. The ordinance would also create new limits and disclosure requirements on contributions and behested payments.

The commission voted 4-0 to continue the matter to its next meeting on September 25, 2017.

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August 30, 2017 •

Judge Invalidates California Law Allowing Public Financing of Local Campaigns

On August 28, a judge upheld a ban on the public financing of local campaigns, invalidating last year’s reforms put in place by Senate Bill 1107. The Sacramento Superior Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and […]

On August 28, a judge upheld a ban on the public financing of local campaigns, invalidating last year’s reforms put in place by Senate Bill 1107.

The Sacramento Superior Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and retired State Senator and Judge Quentin L. Kopp, invalidating SB 1107 and ruling that the matter must be sent to voters on a statewide ballot.

SB 1107 was passed in 2016 and allowed any municipality the option to create systems for publicly funded campaigns. In the absence of SB 1107, only six charter cities can offer limited public funds to match small campaign donations.

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August 28, 2017 •

California Assembly Speaker Faces Recall Effort; Opens Debate for Universal Healthcare

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is currently facing a recall effort launched by single-payer healthcare activists after Rendon blocked Senate Bill 562 that would have established a single-payer healthcare system in California. Rendon represents District 63 in the California State […]

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is currently facing a recall effort launched by single-payer healthcare activists after Rendon blocked Senate Bill 562 that would have established a single-payer healthcare system in California. Rendon represents District 63 in the California State Assembly.

On August 24, Rendon announced plans for special committee hearings this fall to develop legislation for a path forward for universal health care legislation.

Recall organizers must collect 22,963 signatures for a recall election to be held.

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August 28, 2017 •

California Recall Fight Continues

Senate Bill 117 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on August 24. The law is effective immediately upon passage and extends the recall election timeline and would consolidate the Josh Newman recall election with the June 2018 primary […]

Senate Bill 117 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on August 24.

The law is effective immediately upon passage and extends the recall election timeline and would consolidate the Josh Newman recall election with the June 2018 primary instead of a standalone special ballot this fall.

Under the law, people who signed recall petitions now have 30 days to withdraw their signatures.

Within hours of Gov. Jerry Brown signing the bill, a legal challenge was filed to block the new law claiming SB 117 violates the due process rights of Newman recall proponents. No court date has been set.

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