Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1141 Political Reform Act of 1974: misuse of funds.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 85300.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

85300.5.
 (a) It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, consultant, or agency, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Campaign activity” means an activity constituting a contribution as defined in Section 82015 or an expenditure as defined in Section 82025. “Campaign activity” does not include the incidental and minimal use of public resources, such as equipment or office space, for campaign purposes, including the referral of unsolicited political mail, telephone calls, and visitors to private political entities.
(2) “Public resources” means any property or asset owned by the state or any local agency, including, but not limited to, land, buildings, facilities, funds, equipment, supplies, telephones, computers, vehicles, travel, and state-compensated time.
(3) “Use” means a use of public resources that is substantial enough to result in a gain or advantage to the user or a loss to the state or any local agency for which a monetary value may be estimated.
(c) (1)   In lieu of any other penalty under this title, any person who intentionally or negligently violates this section is liable for an administrative or civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day on which a violation occurs, plus three times the value of the unlawful use of public resources. If two or more persons are responsible for any violation, they shall be jointly and severally liable for the penalty.
(2) The moneys recovered shall be paid into the General Fund.
(3) A civil or administrative action alleging a violation of this section shall not be commenced more than four years after the date the alleged violation occurred.
(d) This section does not prohibit the use of public resources for providing information to the public about the possible effects of any bond issue or other ballot measure on state activities, operations, or policies, if (1) the informational activities are otherwise authorized by the constitution or laws of this state, and (2) the information provided constitutes a fair and impartial presentation of relevant facts to aid the electorate in reaching an informed judgment regarding the bond issue or ballot measure.
SEC. 2.
 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.