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AB-2467 Political Reform Act of 1974: misuse of funds.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/01/2020 09:00 PM
AB2467:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 04, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2467


Introduced by Assembly Member Levine

February 19, 2020


An act to amend Section 2000 of the Elections Code, relating to voting. An act to add Section 85300.5 to the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2467, as amended, Levine. Voters: eligibility. Political Reform Act of 1974: misuse of funds.
Existing law prohibits the use of public resources for a campaign activity or personal or other purposes that are not authorized by law. Existing law subjects a person who intentionally or negligently violates this prohibition to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each day on which a violation occurs, plus 3 times the value of the unlawful use of public resources.
The Political Reform Act of 1974 establishes the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) as the agency responsible for enforcing the act. The act generally prohibits a public officer from expending, and a candidate from accepting, public moneys for the purpose of seeking elective office and prohibits newsletters and other mass mailings from being sent at public expense, subject to specified exceptions. The act authorizes the FPPC to seek and impose administrative and civil penalties against persons who violate the act, as prescribed.
This bill would prohibit a state or local government agency from expending public money for a public communication that clearly identifies a candidate or ballot measure, except as provided.
A violation of the act is punishable as a misdemeanor. 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.

Existing law provides that every person who qualifies under the California Constitution and complies with the voter registration requirements under the Elections Code is eligible to vote at any election held within the territory within which the person resides and the election is held.

This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.

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 85300.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

85300.5.
 (a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a state or local government agency, or an agent of the agency, shall not expend public money for a public communication that clearly identifies a candidate or ballot measure, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(A) A mass mailing.
(B) Bumper sticker.
(C) Billboard.
(D) Flyer.
(E) Mass media communication such as a television, electronic, or radio advertisement.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “clearly identified” has the same meaning as in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 82025.
(b) This section does not preclude the expenditure of public money for any of the following communications:
(1) A mass mailing permitted under Section 89002.
(2) An agency report containing the agency’s internal evaluation of a measure sent in response to a member of the public’s request.
(3) A department view presented by an agency employee upon request by a public or private organization at a meeting of the organization.
(4) A discussion or an announcement of the agency’s position at a public meeting or within the agenda or hearing minutes prepared for the meeting.
(5) A written argument filed by the agency for publication in the voter information guide pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 9000) of the Elections Code, whether or not sent to a voter.
(6) A republication of the full voter information guide prepared pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 9000) of the Elections Code.
(7) A communication containing only the impartial analysis of the measure prepared by law for the ballot or voter information guide.
(8) A communication conveyed by a form of mass media regularly provided by the agency, such as an electronic agency newsletter, government access television, or social media page, that is either of the following:
(A) A communication other than a mass mailing that contains the candidate’s image or identifies the candidate by name but does not reference the candidate’s campaign or qualifications for office.
(B) An impartial communication that clearly identifies its funding source containing only a description of the intended actions of the agency’s governing body, including budget cuts or allocations, to be implemented upon the approval or defeat of a ballot measure and any resulting increase or decrease in taxes or similar public fees or charges.
(9) A communication specifically authorized by state or federal law.

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 2000 of the Elections Code is amended to read:
2000.

(a)A person who qualifies under Section 2 of Article II of the California Constitution and who complies with this code governing the registration of electors may vote at an election held within the territory within which the person resides and the election is held.

(b)A person who will be at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election is eligible to register and vote at that election.

(c)Pursuant to Section 2102, a person who is at least 16 years of age and otherwise meets all eligibility requirements to vote is eligible to preregister to vote, but is not eligible to vote until the person is 18 years of age.