Today's Law As Amended


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AB-871 Political Reform Act of 1974: contribution prohibitions.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) Public entities are barred from making political contributions under existing California law.
(b) Electrical and gas corporations are quasi-public entities, behaving in many ways like arms of the state. They claim monopolies on entire regions, seize property through eminent domain, and enjoy a fixed rate of return. State officials, in turn, are essentially embedded in their corporate structure. Officials closely control prices, operations, and purchasing.
(c) Under precedents of the United States Supreme Court, the First Amendment does not afford absolute protection to political donations.

SEC. 2.

 Section 85322 is added to the Government Code, to read:

85322.
 (a) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, an electrical corporation or a gas corporation shall not make a direct contribution to a candidate for elective state office.
(2) A candidate for elective state office shall not accept a direct contribution from an electrical corporation or a gas corporation.
(b) This section does not prohibit an independent expenditure or a contribution to a political party or political party committee, a legal defense fund formed pursuant to Section 85304, an officeholder account as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 85316, a small contributor committee, a political action committee, a candidate controlled ballot measure committee, or any other expenditure or contribution that is not a direct contribution to a candidate for elective state office, except as otherwise provided by law.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Electrical corporation” has the same meaning as in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code.
(2) “Gas corporation” has the same meaning as in Section 222 of the Public Utilities Code.
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.