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AB-84 Political Reform Act of 1974: political party committee disclosures.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/06/2018 09:00 PM
AB84:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 06, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  July 05, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 84


Introduced by Assembly Member Mullin
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Rendon and Dahle)

January 05, 2017


An act to amend Sections 84200.6 and 85205 84200.6, 85205, and 85702 of, and to add Section 84200.10 to, the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 84, as amended, Mullin. Political Reform Act of 1974: political party committee disclosures.
(1) 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. financing. The act requires elected officers, candidates, and committees committees, including political party committees, to file various reports, reports at specified periods, including semiannual reports, preelection statements, and supplemental preelection statements. The act defines a “political party committee” as the state central committee or county central committee of an organization that meets the requirements for recognition as a political party under law.
This bill would additionally require political party committees that receive received or contribute contributed $50,000 or more in the year before a regularly scheduled statewide primary or general election current or previous two-year election cycle to file monthly statements in the subsequent year. The bill would waive this requirement for months in which specified reports under existing law are also filed. reports, as specified.
(2) The act defines “political party committee” as the state central committee or county central committee of an organization that meets the requirements for recognition as a political party, as specified. generally limits contributions made or received by elected officers, candidates, and committees. The act does not limit the contributions of a political party committee to a candidate for elective state office. The act also authorizes a political party committee to receive higher levels of contributions than other committees. In addition, political party committees are not controlled committees for purposes of the act.
This bill would add to this definition committees created by a legislative expand the definition of “political party committee” to include a legislative caucus committee. The bill would authorize the caucus of a each political party of each house of the Legislature. Legislature to create a legislative caucus committee directed by the caucus leader, as specified. The bill would provide for the leadership of a legislative caucus committee, as specified. that funds received by a legislative caucus committee shall be held in trust to advance the interests of the caucus and may be used to make expenditures associated with the election of members to the Legislature and for caucus expenses. The bill would also provide that a legislative caucus committee is not a controlled committee for purposes of the act, and would regulate the use of bank accounts and funds received by a legislative caucus committee, as specified. and that a bank account established for a legislative caucus committee is not a campaign contribution account of any candidate.

(3)Because a violation of the act is punishable as a misdemeanor, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(3) The act prohibits a lobbyist from making a contribution to an elected state officer or candidate for elected state office if the lobbyist is registered to lobby the governmental agency of the officer or for which the candidate is seeking election.
This bill would similarly prohibit a lobbyist from making a contribution to a legislative caucus committee if the lobbyist is registered to lobby the Legislature.
(4) Because a violation of the act is punishable as a misdemeanor, 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.

(4)

(5) 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.

(5)

(6) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute, but would become operative 14 days after its effective date.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)The public deserves to receive required campaign finance information in an accurate, timely, and transparent manner.

(b)The public should be able to track money raised and spent by political parties and legislative caucuses.

(c)Increasing the timeliness of reports filed by political parties and legislative caucuses when they are most active improves public access and transparency.

(d)The disclosure of contributors and expenditures by political parties and legislative caucuses serves the following important purposes:

(1)It provides the electorate with information as to where campaign money comes from, increasing its ability to identify the supporters of candidates.

(2)It is an important means of gathering the information necessary to detect violations of the Political Reform Act of 1974.

(3)The people of California have a compelling interest in receiving clear and easy to use information about who is financing political campaigns.

(a) The Political Reform Act was intended to ensure the full and truthful disclosure of receipts and expenditures in election campaigns so that voters may be informed and improper practices may be inhibited.
(b) The Political Reform Act was intended to ensure that the activities of lobbyists would be regulated to avoid improper influences being directed at public officials.
(c) Proposition 34, approved by California voters in 2000, amended the Political Reform Act for the purpose of increasing public information regarding campaign contributions and expenditures and ensuring that individuals and interest groups have a fair and equitable opportunity to participate in the election and governmental processes.
(d) Proposition 34 also sought to strengthen the role of political parties in financing political campaigns by means of establishing reasonable limits on contributions to political party committees and limiting restrictions on contributions to, and expenditures on behalf of, party candidates.
(e) Legislative caucuses are a major component of political parties and, as such, should be regulated in the same manner as political party committees.
(f) Although legislative caucus leaders play an instrumental role in raising money for their respective political parties, existing law does not require legislative caucus leaders to publicly disclose campaign contributions they raise on behalf of political party committees.

SEC. 2.

 In enacting this act, the Legislature intends all of the following:
(a) To increase public access to information regarding campaign contributions and expenditures by requiring political party committees, including legislative caucus committees, that raise or spend $50,000 or more during an election cycle to file monthly campaign reports disclosing political contributions and expenditures.
(b) To authorize the establishment of additional political party committees, called legislative caucus committees, directed by the leader of each political party caucus represented in the Legislature for purposes of supporting party candidates for election to the Legislature.
(c) To require full and truthful public disclosure of the campaign finance activities of contributions raised and expenditures made by legislative caucus committees.
(d) To limit the potential for improper influence of lobbyists by prohibiting lobbyists who are registered to lobby the Legislature from making contributions to legislative caucus committees.
(e) To apply the same reasonable contribution limits and disclosure rules to legislative caucus committees as apply to other political party committees.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 Section 84200.6 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84200.6.
 In addition to the campaign statements required by Sections 84200, 84200.5, and 84200.10, all candidates and committees shall file the following special statements and reports:
(a) Late contribution reports, when required by Section 84203.
(b) Late independent expenditure reports, when required by Section 84204.

SEC. 3.SEC. 4.

 Section 84200.10 is added to the Government Code, to read:

84200.10.
 (a) During any year in which there is a regularly scheduled statewide primary or general election, a political party committee that received contributions or made expenditures of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more during the previous calendar year current or immediately preceding two-year election cycle is required to file monthly reports. Monthly reports are due no later than the 20th day of the month, except that semiannual reports shall be filed by the deadlines specified in subdivision (a) of Section 84200.
(1) A monthly report is not due in any month in which a political party committee files a preelection report pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 84200.5.
(2) The reporting period for monthly reports is the first day of the calendar month through the last day of the calendar month except that monthly reports following preelection statements shall include the day after the last day of the preelection reporting period through the last day of the month in which the preelection report is filed.
(3) For purposes of this section, “two-year election cycle” means the period beginning January 1 of an odd-numbered year and ending December 31 of the following even-numbered year.
(b) The Commission may combine statements and reports pursuant to Section 84205 to avoid additional or unnecessary filings or filings with substantially abbreviated reporting periods.

SEC. 4.SEC. 5.

 Section 85205 of the Government Code is amended to read:

85205.
 (a) “Political party committee” means the state central committee, a legislative caucus committee, or county central committee of an organization that meets the requirements for recognition as a political party pursuant to Section 5100 or 5151 of the Elections Code.
(b) Each The caucus of each political party of each house of the Legislature may establish no more than one legislative caucus committee. A legislative caucus committee shall be directed by the Speaker of the Assembly, Assembly Minority Leader, President pro Tempore of the Senate, Senate Minority Leader, or the caucus leader of any other recognized political party represented in the Legislature, or his or her designee or designees.
(c) (1) Pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 82016, a legislative caucus committee is not a controlled committee.
(2) For purposes of Section 85201, a bank account established for a legislative caucus committee is not a campaign contribution account of the person who directs the committee or of any other candidate.
(d) Funds received by each legislative caucus committee shall be held in trust to advance the interests of the legislative caucus. Legislative caucus funds may be used to make expenditures associated with the election of members of to the Legislature, Legislature and for caucus expenses. The authority to direct a legislative caucus committee shall transfer to the successor leader of the legislative caucus described in subdivision (b) at the time the successor assumes office as leader, unless the caucus decides by a majority vote to transfer authority to direct the legislative caucus committee at an earlier time.
(e) Legislative caucus funds shall not be used to make a contribution to the Speaker of the Assembly, Assembly Minority Leader, President pro Tempore of the Senate, Senate Minority Leader, or the caucus leader of any other recognized political party represented in the Legislature for purposes of supporting his or her election or reelection to state office.

SEC. 6.

 Section 85702 of the Government Code is amended to read:

85702.
 (a) An elected state officer or candidate for elected state office may shall not accept a contribution from a lobbyist, and a lobbyist may shall not make a contribution to an elected state officer or candidate for elected state office, if that lobbyist is registered to lobby the governmental agency for which the candidate is seeking election or the governmental agency of the elected state officer.
(b) A legislative caucus committee established pursuant to Section 85205 shall not accept a contribution from a lobbyist, and a lobbyist shall not make a contribution to a legislative caucus committee, if that lobbyist is registered to lobby the Legislature.

SEC. 5.SEC. 7.

 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. 6.SEC. 8.

 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.

SEC. 7.SEC. 9.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure transparency in elections, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.

SEC. 8.SEC. 10.

 This act shall become operative 14 days after the effective date of this act.