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AB-40 Political Reform Act of 1974: slate mailers.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 12/07/2020 09:00 PM
AB40:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 40


Introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez

December 07, 2020


An act to amend Section 84305.5 of the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 40, as introduced, Lorena Gonzalez. Political Reform Act of 1974: slate mailers.
The Political Reform Act of 1974 regulates mass mailings, known as slate mailers, that support or oppose multiple candidates or ballot measures for an election. The act requires that each slate mailer identify the slate mailer organization or committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures that is sending the slate mailer, and to contain other specified information in specified formatting. The act requires that each candidate and each ballot measure that has paid to appear in the slate mailer be designated by an asterisk. The act limits the required type size of the asterisk to no more than 10-point boldface type.
This bill would require the slate mailer to disclose the number of members who make up the slate mailer organization or committee. The bill would also require the total amount paid to appear on the slate mailer to be disclosed for each candidate and ballot measure that is required to be designated by an asterisk, immediately below the name or ballot measure, in no less than 9-point roman type and in a color or print that contrasts with the background so as to be easily legible. The bill would also delete the provision limiting the required type size of the asterisk to no more than 10-point boldface type.
The act makes a knowing or willful violation of its provisions a misdemeanor and subjects offenders to criminal penalties.
By expanding the scope of 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.
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 84305.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84305.5.
 (a) No A slate mailer organization or committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures shall not send a slate mailer unless:
(1) The name, street address, and city of the slate mailer organization or committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures are shown on the outside of each piece of slate mail and on at least one of the inserts included with each piece of slate mail in no less than 8-point roman type which shall be in a color or print which contrasts with the background so as to be easily legible. A post office box may be stated in lieu of a street address if the street address of the slate mailer organization or the committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measure is a matter of public record with the Secretary of State’s Political Reform Division.
(2) At the top or bottom of the front side or surface of at least one insert or at the top or bottom of one side or surface of a postcard or other self-mailer, there is a notice in at least 8-point roman boldface type, which shall be in a color or print which contrasts with the background so as to be easily legible, and in a printed or drawn box and set apart from any other printed matter. The notice shall consist of the following statement:
NOTICE TO VOTERS
THIS DOCUMENT WAS PREPARED BY (name of slate mailer organization or committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures), NOT AN OFFICIAL POLITICAL PARTY ORGANIZATION. (name of slate mailer organization or committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures) is an organization with (number of members who make up the slate mailer organization or committee) members. Appearance in this mailer does not necessarily imply endorsement of others appearing in this mailer, nor does it imply endorsement of, or opposition to, any issues set forth in this mailer. Appearance is paid for and authorized by each candidate and ballot measure which is designated by an *.
(3) The name, street address, and city of the slate mailer organization or committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures as required by paragraph (1) and the notice required by paragraph (2) may appear on the same side or surface of an insert.
(4) (A) Each candidate and each ballot measure that has paid to appear in the slate mailer is designated by an *. Any candidate or ballot measure that has not paid to appear in the slate mailer is not designated by an *.

The

(B) The * required by this subdivision shall be of the same type size, type style, color or contrast, and legibility as is used for the name of the candidate or the ballot measure name or number and position advocated to which the * designation applies except that in no case shall the * be required to be larger than 10-point boldface type. applies. The designation shall immediately follow the name of the candidate, or the name or number and position advocated on the ballot measure where the designation appears in the slate of candidates and measures. If there is no slate listing, the designation shall appear at least once in at least 8-point boldface type, immediately following the name of the candidate, or the name or number and position advocated on the ballot measure.
(C) The total amount paid to appear on the slate mailer is included for each candidate and ballot measure that is required to be designated by an *, immediately below the name or ballot measure, in no less than 9-point roman type and in a color or print that contrasts with the background so as to be easily legible.
(5) The name of any candidate appearing in the slate mailer who is a member of a political party differing from the political party which the mailer appears by representation or indicia to represent is accompanied, immediately below the name, by the party designation of the candidate, in no less than 9-point roman type which shall be in a color or print that contrasts with the background so as to be easily legible. The designation shall not be required in the case of candidates for nonpartisan office.
(b) For purposes of the designations required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), the payment of any sum made reportable by subdivision (c) of Section 84219 by or at the behest of a candidate or committee, whose name or position appears in the mailer, to the slate mailer organization or committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures, shall constitute a payment to appear, requiring the * designation. The payment shall also be deemed to constitute authorization to appear in the mailer.

SEC. 2.

 The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

SEC. 3.

 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. 4.

 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.