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AB-2505 Political Reform Act of 1974: campaign funds(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/19/2020 09:00 PM
AB2505:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2505


Introduced by Assembly Member Berman

February 19, 2020


An act to amend Section 89520 of the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2505, as introduced, Berman. Political Reform Act of 1974: campaign funds
The Political Reform Act of 1974 provides for the comprehensive regulation of campaign financing, including requiring the reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures, as defined, and imposing other reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The Fair Political Practices Commission administers and enforces the act. A violation of the act’s provisions, with certain exceptions, is punishable as a misdemeanor.
The act prohibits the use of campaign funds for certain purposes, including expenditures that confer substantial personal benefit that are not directly related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose. These prohibitions are not subject to certain penalties, including the misdemeanor penalty described above.
This bill would subject a person who misuses campaign funds in violation of these requirements resulting in an unlawful direct personal benefit with a monetary value of $10,000 or more to that misdemeanor penalty and an administrative penalty collected by the Commission of up $10,000 for each violation or three times the amount of the unlawful direct personal benefit.
By expanding the scope of the act’s criminal provision, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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 of the Legislature and compliance with specified procedural requirements.
This bill would declare that it furthers the purposes of the act.
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 89520 of the Government Code is amended to read:

89520.
 The(a) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), the remedies provided in Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 91000) shall do not apply to violations of this chapter.
(b) A person who violates this article by using campaign funds in a manner that results in an unlawful direct personal benefit with a monetary value of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more is subject to both of the following:
(1) An administrative penalty collected by the Commission pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 83100) of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation described in this subdivision or three times the amount of the unlawful direct personal benefit.
(2) Criminal liability under Section 91000.

SEC. 2.

 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. 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.