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AB-1544 Political Reform Act of 1974: behested payments.(2015-2016)

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Assembly Bill No. 1544
CHAPTER 756

An act to amend Section 82015 of the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

[ Approved by Governor  October 10, 2015. Filed with Secretary of State  October 10, 2015. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1544, Cooley. Political Reform Act of 1974: behested payments.
The Political Reform Act of 1974 provides for the comprehensive regulation of campaign financing and related matters, including campaign contributions, as defined. Under existing law, a payment made at the behest of a candidate for elective office is considered a contribution unless the payment is made for purposes unrelated to the candidate’s candidacy. Under the act, a payment made by a government agency or an exempt nonprofit organization is presumed to be unrelated to a candidate’s candidacy. Likewise, a payment made principally for legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes is presumed to be unrelated to a candidate’s candidacy, and such payments are required to be reported by a candidate who is an elected officer if they total $5,000 or more in the aggregate from a single source in a calendar year. For purposes of the act, an elected officer retains his or her status as a candidate for that office until the officer has terminated all of his or her committees and no longer holds the office, as specified.
This bill would provide that the provision relating to payments made by a government agency exclusively governs a payment by a governmental agency that is made principally for legislative or governmental purposes at the behest of a candidate who is an elected officer, and consequently the payment would not be subject to the reporting requirement that applies generally to payments made for legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes.
This bill would incorporate changes to Section 82015 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and AB 10, which would become operative only if both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2016, and this bill is chaptered last.
The Political Reform Act of 1974, an initiative measure, provides that the Legislature may amend the act to further the act’s purposes upon a 2/3 vote of each house and compliance with specified procedural requirements.
This bill would declare that it furthers the purposes of the act.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 82015 of the Government Code is amended to read:

82015.
 (a) “Contribution” means a payment, a forgiveness of a loan, a payment of a loan by a third party, or an enforceable promise to make a payment except to the extent that full and adequate consideration is received, unless it is clear from the surrounding circumstances that it is not made for political purposes.
(b) (1) A payment made at the behest of a committee, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 82013, is a contribution to the committee unless full and adequate consideration is received from the committee for making the payment.
(2) A payment made at the behest of a candidate is a contribution to the candidate unless the criteria in either subparagraph (A) or (B) are satisfied:
(A) Full and adequate consideration is received from the candidate.
(B) It is clear from the surrounding circumstances that the payment was made for purposes unrelated to his or her candidacy for elective office. The following types of payments are presumed to be for purposes unrelated to a candidate’s candidacy for elective office:
(i) A payment made principally for personal purposes, in which case it may be considered a gift under the provisions of Section 82028. Payments that are otherwise subject to the limits of Section 86203 are presumed to be principally for personal purposes.
(ii) A payment made by a state, local, or federal governmental agency or by a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A payment by a state, local, or federal governmental agency that is made principally for legislative or governmental purposes is governed exclusively by this clause and, therefore, is not subject to the reporting requirement described in clause (iii).
(iii) A payment not covered by clause (i), made principally for legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes, in which case it is neither a gift nor a contribution. However, payments of this type that are made at the behest of a candidate who is an elected officer shall be reported within 30 days following the date on which the payment or payments equal or exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) in the aggregate from the same source in the same calendar year in which they are made. The report shall be filed by the elected officer with the elected officer’s agency and shall be a public record subject to inspection and copying pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 81008. The report shall contain the following information: name of payor, address of payor, amount of the payment, date or dates the payment or payments were made, the name and address of the payee, a brief description of the goods or services provided or purchased, if any, and a description of the specific purpose or event for which the payment or payments were made. Once the five-thousand-dollar ($5,000) aggregate threshold from a single source has been reached for a calendar year, all payments for the calendar year made by that source shall be disclosed within 30 days after the date the threshold was reached or the payment was made, whichever occurs later. Within 30 days after receipt of the report, state agencies shall forward a copy of these reports to the Commission, and local agencies shall forward a copy of these reports to the officer with whom elected officers of that agency file their campaign statements.
(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), a payment is made for purposes related to a candidate’s candidacy for elective office if all or a portion of the payment is used for election-related activities. For purposes of this subparagraph, “election-related activities” shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) Communications that contain express advocacy of the nomination or election of the candidate or the defeat of his or her opponent.
(ii) Communications that contain reference to the candidate’s candidacy for elective office, the candidate’s election campaign, or the candidate’s or his or her opponent’s qualifications for elective office.
(iii) Solicitation of contributions to the candidate or to third persons for use in support of the candidate or in opposition to his or her opponent.
(iv) Arranging, coordinating, developing, writing, distributing, preparing, or planning of any communication or activity described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii).
(v) Recruiting or coordinating campaign activities of campaign volunteers on behalf of the candidate.
(vi) Preparing campaign budgets.
(vii) Preparing campaign finance disclosure statements.
(viii) Communications directed to voters or potential voters as part of activities encouraging or assisting persons to vote if the communication contains express advocacy of the nomination or election of the candidate or the defeat of his or her opponent.
(D) A contribution made at the behest of a candidate for a different candidate or to a committee not controlled by the behesting candidate is not a contribution to the behesting candidate.
(3) A payment made at the behest of a member of the Public Utilities Commission, made principally for legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes, is not a contribution. However, payments of this type shall be reported within 30 days following the date on which the payment or payments equal or exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) in the aggregate from the same source in the same calendar year in which they are made. The report shall be filed by the member with the Public Utilities Commission and shall be a public record subject to inspection and copying pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 81008. The report shall contain the following information: name of payor, address of payor, amount of the payment, date or dates the payment or payments were made, the name and address of the payee, a brief description of the goods or services provided or purchased, if any, and a description of the specific purpose or event for which the payment or payments were made. Once the five-thousand-dollar ($5,000) aggregate threshold from a single source has been reached for a calendar year, all payments for the calendar year made by that source shall be disclosed within 30 days after the date the threshold was reached or the payment was made, whichever occurs later. Within 30 days after receipt of the report, the Public Utilities Commission shall forward a copy of these reports to the Fair Political Practices Commission.
(c) “Contribution” includes the purchase of tickets for events such as dinners, luncheons, rallies, and similar fundraising events; the candidate’s own money or property used on behalf of his or her candidacy, other than personal funds of the candidate used to pay either a filing fee for a declaration of candidacy or a candidate statement prepared pursuant to Section 13307 of the Elections Code; the granting of discounts or rebates not extended to the public generally or the granting of discounts or rebates by television and radio stations and newspapers not extended on an equal basis to all candidates for the same office; the payment of compensation by any person for the personal services or expenses of any other person if the services are rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of a candidate or committee without payment of full and adequate consideration.
(d) “Contribution” further includes any transfer of anything of value received by a committee from another committee, unless full and adequate consideration is received.
(e) “Contribution” does not include amounts received pursuant to an enforceable promise to the extent those amounts have been previously reported as a contribution. However, the fact that those amounts have been received shall be indicated in the appropriate campaign statement.
(f) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), “contribution” does not include a payment made by an occupant of a home or office for costs related to any meeting or fundraising event held in the occupant’s home or office if the costs for the meeting or fundraising event are five hundred dollars ($500) or less.
(2) “Contribution” includes a payment made by a lobbyist or a cohabitant of a lobbyist for costs related to a fundraising event held at the home of the lobbyist, including the value of the use of the home as a fundraising event venue. A payment described in this paragraph shall be attributable to the lobbyist for purposes of Section 85702.
(3) “Contribution” includes a payment made by a lobbying firm for costs related to a fundraising event held at the office of the lobbying firm, including the value of the use of the office as a fundraising event venue.
(g) Notwithstanding the foregoing definition of “contribution,” the term does not include volunteer personal services or payments made by any individual for his or her own travel expenses if the payments are made voluntarily without any understanding or agreement that they shall be, directly or indirectly, repaid to him or her.
(h) “Contribution” further includes the payment of public moneys by a state or local governmental agency for a communication to the public that satisfies both of the following:
(1) The communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a clearly identified measure, or, taken as a whole and in context, unambiguously urges a particular result in an election.
(2) The communication is made at the behest of the affected candidate or committee.
(i) “Contribution” further includes a payment made by a person to a multipurpose organization as defined and described in Section 84222.

SEC. 1.5.

 Section 82015 of the Government Code is amended to read:

82015.
 (a) “Contribution” means a payment, a forgiveness of a loan, a payment of a loan by a third party, or an enforceable promise to make a payment except to the extent that full and adequate consideration is received, unless it is clear from the surrounding circumstances that it is not made for political purposes.
(b) (1) A payment made at the behest of a committee, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 82013, is a contribution to the committee unless full and adequate consideration is received from the committee for making the payment.
(2) A payment made at the behest of a candidate is a contribution to the candidate unless the criteria in either subparagraph (A) or (B) are satisfied:
(A) Full and adequate consideration is received from the candidate.
(B) It is clear from the surrounding circumstances that the payment was made for purposes unrelated to his or her candidacy for elective office. The following types of payments are presumed to be for purposes unrelated to a candidate’s candidacy for elective office:
(i) A payment made principally for personal purposes, in which case it may be considered a gift under Section 82028. Payments that are otherwise subject to the limits of Section 86203 are presumed to be principally for personal purposes.
(ii) A payment made by a state, local, or federal governmental agency or by a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A payment by a state, local, or federal governmental agency that is made principally for legislative or governmental purposes is governed exclusively by this clause and, therefore, is not subject to the reporting requirement described in clause (iii).
(iii) (I) A payment not covered by clause (i), made principally for legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes, in which case it is neither a gift nor a contribution. However, payments of this type that are made at the behest of a candidate who is an elected officer shall be reported within 30 days following the date on which the payment or payments equal or exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) in the aggregate from the same source in the same calendar year in which they are made. The report shall be filed with the elected officer’s agency. The report shall be a public record subject to inspection and copying pursuant to Section 81008. The report shall contain the following information: name of payor, address of payor, amount of the payment, date or dates the payment or payments were made, the name and address of the payee, a brief description of the goods or services provided or purchased, if any, and a description of the specific purpose or event for which the payment or payments were made. Once the five-thousand-dollar ($5,000) aggregate threshold from a single source has been reached for a calendar year, all payments for the calendar year made by that source shall be disclosed within 30 days after the date the threshold was reached or the payment was made, whichever occurs later. Within 30 days after receipt of the report, state agencies shall forward a copy of these reports to the commission, and local agencies shall forward a copy of these reports to the officer with whom elected officers of that agency file their campaign statements.
(II) A Member of the Legislature or a person elected to a statewide elective office, as defined in Section 82053, shall report behested payments of the type described in subclause (I) for one year after he or she leaves the Legislature or the statewide elective office. The report shall be made in accordance with the requirements of subclause (I). A Member of the Legislature or a person elected to a statewide elective office shall only report a payment pursuant to this subclause if the payment would financially benefit the former officeholder or a member of his or her immediate family, the former officeholder’s employer or the employer of a member of his or her immediate family, or an entity with whom the former officeholder or a member of his or her immediate family is negotiating employment.
(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), a payment is made for purposes related to a candidate’s candidacy for elective office if all or a portion of the payment is used for election-related activities. For purposes of this subparagraph, “election-related activities” shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) Communications that contain express advocacy of the nomination or election of the candidate or the defeat of his or her opponent.
(ii) Communications that contain reference to the candidate’s candidacy for elective office, the candidate’s election campaign, or the candidate’s or his or her opponent’s qualifications for elective office.
(iii) Solicitation of contributions to the candidate or to third persons for use in support of the candidate or in opposition to his or her opponent.
(iv) Arranging, coordinating, developing, writing, distributing, preparing, or planning of any communication or activity described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii).
(v) Recruiting or coordinating campaign activities of campaign volunteers on behalf of the candidate.
(vi) Preparing campaign budgets.
(vii) Preparing campaign finance disclosure statements.
(viii) Communications directed to voters or potential voters as part of activities encouraging or assisting persons to vote if the communication contains express advocacy of the nomination or election of the candidate or the defeat of his or her opponent.
(D) A contribution made at the behest of a candidate for a different candidate or to a committee not controlled by the behesting candidate is not a contribution to the behesting candidate.
(3) A payment made at the behest of a member of the Public Utilities Commission, made principally for legislative, governmental, or charitable purposes, is not a contribution. However, payments of this type shall be reported within 30 days following the date on which the payment or payments equal or exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) in the aggregate from the same source in the same calendar year in which they are made. The report shall be filed by the member with the Public Utilities Commission and shall be a public record subject to inspection and copying pursuant to Section 81008. The report shall contain the following information: name of payor, address of payor, amount of the payment, date or dates the payment or payments were made, the name and address of the payee, a brief description of the goods or services provided or purchased, if any, and a description of the specific purpose or event for which the payment or payments were made. Once the five-thousand-dollar ($5,000) aggregate threshold from a single source has been reached for a calendar year, all payments for the calendar year made by that source shall be disclosed within 30 days after the date the threshold was reached or the payment was made, whichever occurs later. Within 30 days after receipt of the report, the Public Utilities Commission shall forward a copy of these reports to the Fair Political Practices Commission.
(c) “Contribution” includes the purchase of tickets for events such as dinners, luncheons, rallies, and similar fundraising events; the candidate’s own money or property used on behalf of his or her candidacy, other than personal funds of the candidate used to pay either a filing fee for a declaration of candidacy or a candidate statement prepared pursuant to Section 13307 of the Elections Code; the granting of discounts or rebates not extended to the public generally or the granting of discounts or rebates by television and radio stations and newspapers not extended on an equal basis to all candidates for the same office; the payment of compensation by any person for the personal services or expenses of any other person if the services are rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of a candidate or committee without payment of full and adequate consideration.
(d) “Contribution” further includes any transfer of anything of value received by a committee from another committee, unless full and adequate consideration is received.
(e) “Contribution” does not include amounts received pursuant to an enforceable promise to the extent those amounts have been previously reported as a contribution. However, the fact that those amounts have been received shall be indicated in the appropriate campaign statement.
(f) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), “contribution” does not include a payment made by an occupant of a home or office for costs related to any meeting or fundraising event held in the occupant’s home or office if the costs for the meeting or fundraising event are five hundred dollars ($500) or less.
(2) “Contribution” includes a payment made by a lobbyist or a cohabitant of a lobbyist for costs related to a fundraising event held at the home of the lobbyist, including the value of the use of the home as a fundraising event venue. A payment described in this paragraph shall be attributable to the lobbyist for purposes of Section 85702.
(3) “Contribution” includes a payment made by a lobbying firm for costs related to a fundraising event held at the office of the lobbying firm, including the value of the use of the office as a fundraising event venue.
(g) Notwithstanding the foregoing definition of “contribution,” the term does not include volunteer personal services or payments made by any individual for his or her own travel expenses if the payments are made voluntarily without any understanding or agreement that they shall be, directly or indirectly, repaid to him or her.
(h) “Contribution” further includes the payment of public moneys by a state or local governmental agency for a communication to the public that satisfies both of the following:
(1) The communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a clearly identified measure, or, taken as a whole and in context, unambiguously urges a particular result in an election.
(2) The communication is made at the behest of the affected candidate or committee.
(i) “Contribution” further includes a payment made by a person to a multipurpose organization as defined and described in Section 84222.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 82015 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 10. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2016, but this bill becomes operative first, (2) each bill amends Section 82015 of the Government Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 10, in which case Section 82015 of the Government Code, as amended by Section 1 of this bill, shall remain operative only until the operative date of Assembly Bill 10, at which time Section 1.5 of this bill shall become operative.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that this bill furthers the purposes of the Political Reform Act of 1974 within the meaning of subdivision (a) of Section 81012 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
It is a core principle of representative government that an elected official’s duties include advocacy of government agencies in favor of expenditures that benefit constituents or public purposes generally. It is also well-established that a government agency may not expend public funds for purposes unrelated to the business of that agency. To that end, government expenditures are subject to a myriad of laws designed to protect the public interest and promote transparency, including laws relating to open meetings, the appropriate use of public resources, conflicts of interests, and disbursement practices. Therefore, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately in order to provide clarity for elected officials, in conformity with the Legislature’s intent when it enacted Chapter 450 of the Statutes of 1997 that reporting requirements for behested payments not apply with respect to the payments made by a government agency at the behest of an elected official for a legislative or governmental purpose.