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AB-990 Political Reform Act of 1974: advertisement disclosures.(2015-2016)

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Date Published:
AB990:v93#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 990
CHAPTER 747

An act to amend Sections 84506.5, 84507, and 84511 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 990, Bonilla. Political Reform Act of 1974: advertisement disclosures.
Existing law, the Political Reform Act of 1974, provides for the comprehensive regulation of campaign financing, including requiring the reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures and imposing other reporting and recordkeeping requirements on campaign committees. The act additionally imposes various disclosure statement requirements with respect to advertisements supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot measure, including a requirement that the disclosure statements be printed clearly and legibly in no less than 10-point type and in a conspicuous manner, as specified. The act also requires that an advertisement supporting or opposing a candidate that is paid for by an independent expenditure include a statement that it was not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.
This bill would require that disclosure statements be printed in no less than 14-point bold, sans serif type font. The bill would require that an advertisement supporting or opposing a candidate that is paid for by an independent expenditure include a disclosure statement with specific content and, if the advertisement is mailed, would require that the disclosure statement be located within a quarter of an inch of the recipient’s name and address and be contained within a box that meets prescribed criteria.
The act also requires certain ballot measure advertisements to include a specified disclosure statement if it is paid for by a committee that pays an individual for his or her appearance in the advertisement, as specified.
This bill would repeal a requirement that the disclosure statement appear in roman font.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
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: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 84506.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84506.5.
 (a) An advertisement supporting or opposing a candidate that is paid for by an independent expenditure must include the following statement: This advertisement was not authorized or paid for by a candidate for this office or a committee controlled by a candidate for this office.
(b) In addition to the requirements of Section 84507, a mailed advertisement subject to this section shall also comply with each of the following:
(1) The disclosure statement in subdivision (a) shall be located within one quarter of an inch of the recipient’s name and address as printed on the advertisement.
(2) The text of the disclosure statement shall be contained in a box with an outline that has a line weight of at least 3.25 pt. The background color of the box shall be in a contrasting color to the background of the advertisement. The outline of the box shall be in a contrasting color to both the background color of the advertisement and the background color of the box. The color of the text shall be in a contrasting color to the background color of the box.

SEC. 2.

 Section 84507 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84507.
 Any disclosure statement required by this article shall be printed clearly and legibly in no less than 14-point, bold, sans serif type font and in a conspicuous manner as defined by the commission or, if the communication is broadcast, the information shall be spoken so as to be clearly audible and understood by the intended public and otherwise appropriately conveyed for the hearing impaired.

SEC. 3.

 Section 84511 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84511.
 (a) This section applies to a committee that does either of the following:
(1) Makes an expenditure of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more to an individual for his or her appearance in an advertisement that supports or opposes the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot measure.
(2) Makes an expenditure of any amount to an individual for his or her appearance in an advertisement that supports or opposes the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot measure and that states or suggests that the individual is a member of an occupation that requires licensure, certification, or other specialized, documented training as a prerequisite to engage in that occupation.
(b) A committee described in subdivision (a) shall file, within 10 days of the expenditure, a report that includes all of the following:
(1) An identification of the measure that is the subject of the advertisement.
(2) The date of the expenditure.
(3) The amount of the expenditure.
(4) The name of the recipient of the expenditure.
(5) For a committee described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the occupation of the recipient of the expenditure.
(c) An advertisement paid for by a committee described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall include a disclosure statement stating “(spokesperson’s name) is being paid by this campaign or its donors” in highly visible font shown continuously if the advertisement consists of printed or televised material, or spoken in a clearly audible format if the advertisement is a radio broadcast or telephonic message.
(d) (1) An advertisement paid for by a committee described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall include a disclosure statement stating “Persons portraying members of an occupation in this advertisement are compensated spokespersons not necessarily employed in those occupations” in highly visible font shown continuously if the advertisement consists of printed or televised material, or spoken in a clearly audible format if the advertisement is a radio broadcast or telephonic message.
(2) A committee may omit the disclosure statement required by this subdivision if all of the following are satisfied with respect to each individual identified in the report filed pursuant to subdivision (b) for that advertisement:
(A) The occupation identified in the report is substantially similar to the occupation portrayed in the advertisement.
(B) The committee maintains credible documentation of the appropriate license, certification, or other training as evidence that the individual may engage in the occupation identified in the report and portrayed in the advertisement and makes that documentation immediately available to the Commission upon request.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SEC. 5.

 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. 6.

 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:
In order to protect the interests of Californians who are empowered with the right to vote, it is appropriate that they be duly informed and that their constitutional right to instruct their representatives be protected. This purpose is best served by an informed electorate. The need for greater transparency of advertisement disclosures is vital to the interests of the State such that this act must take effect immediately.