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SB-300 Political Reform Act of 1974: contribution limitations.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/20/2019 09:00 PM
SB300:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 20, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 300


Introduced by Senator Umberg

February 14, 2019


An act to amend Section 82043 85320 of the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 300, as amended, Umberg. Political Reform Act of 1974: ballot measures. contribution limitations.
The Political Reform Act of 1974 prohibits a foreign government or a foreign principal, as defined, from making any contribution, expenditure, or independent expenditure in connection with the qualification or support of, or opposition to, a state or local ballot measure. The act prohibits a person or committee from soliciting or accepting a contribution from a foreign government or foreign principal for the same purposes. The act makes a violation of these prohibitions a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine equal to the amount contributed or expended.
This bill would expand these prohibitions to include contributions, expenditures, or independent expenditures in connection with the qualification or support, or opposition to, a state or local candidate. The act would change the fine to an amount up to the greater of $10,000 or 3 times the amount contributed or expended.By expanding an existing crime, this 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.

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, including ballot measure committees.

This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to the definition of “measure” for these purposes.

Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 85320 of the Government Code is amended to read:

85320.
 (a) No A foreign government or foreign principal shall not make, directly or through any other person, any contribution, expenditure, or independent expenditure in connection with the qualification or support of, or opposition to, any a state or local candidate or ballot measure.
(b) No A person and no or a committee shall not solicit or accept a contribution from a foreign government or foreign principal in connection with the qualification or support of, or opposition to, any state or local candidate or ballot measure.
(c) For the purposes of this section, a “foreign principal” includes the following:
(1) A foreign political party.
(2) A person outside the United States, unless either of the following is established:
(A) The person is an individual and a citizen of the United States.
(B) The person is not an individual and is organized under or created by the laws of the United States or of any state or other place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and has its principal place of business within the United States.
(3) A partnership, association, corporation, organization, or other combination of persons organized under the laws of or having its principal place of business in a foreign country.
(4) A domestic subsidiary of a foreign corporation if the decision to contribute or expend funds is made by an officer, director, or management employee of the foreign corporation who is neither a citizen of the United States nor a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States.
(d) This section shall does not prohibit a contribution, expenditure, or independent expenditure made by a lawfully admitted permanent resident.
(e) Any A person who violates this section shall be is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall may be fined an amount equal to the up to the greater of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or three times the amount contributed or expended.

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.
SECTION 1.Section 82043 of the Government Code is amended to read:
82043.

“Measure” means any constitutional amendment or other proposition that is submitted to a popular vote at an election by action of a legislative body, or that is submitted or is intended to be submitted to a popular vote at an election by initiative, referendum or recall procedure whether or not it qualifies for the ballot.