Bill Text

Bill Information


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-752 Elections: disclosure of contributors.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 03/10/2021 09:00 PM
SB752:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 10, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 752


Introduced by Senator Allen

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Sections 101, 105, 107, 9008, 9020, 9105, and 9203 of the Elections Code, and to amend Sections 84501, 84502, 84503, 84504, 84504.1, 84504.2, 84504.3, 84504.7, and 84505 of the Government Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 752, as amended, Allen. Elections: disclosure of contributors.
Existing law requires political advertisements to include specified disclosure statements that identify the name of the campaign committee paying for the advertisement and the top contributors, as defined, to that committee. Existing law requires a campaign committee that pays for the circulation of a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition to disclose its top contributors, as prescribed. Existing law establishes other requirements regarding the form, content, and presentation of initiative, referendum, and recall petitions.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to these disclosure requirements.

This bill would require an initiative, referendum, or recall petition to instruct voters to sign the petition only after viewing certain disclosures regarding the top contributors to the initiative, referendum, or recall, as specified, and would require a signer to certify that the signer saw the disclosures. This bill would make additional changes to requirements regarding the form, content, and presentation of initiative, referendum, and recall petitions.
This bill would revise the minimum contribution thresholds above which a contributor to a committee may considered a top contributor, and would require certain political advertisements to identify the top contributors to the campaign committee paying for the advertisement without regard to any minimum contribution threshold. This bill would make additional changes to the disclosure requirements for political advertisements, including changes to the required form, content, and presentation of the disclosures depending on the medium in which the advertisement appears. Because political advertisements are regulated under the Political Reform Act, and a violation of the act is punishable as a misdemeanor, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the definition of a crime.
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: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) For voters to make an informed choice in the political marketplace, political advertisements should not intentionally deceive voters about the identity of who or what interest is trying to persuade them how to vote.
(b) Ensuring that political advertisers cannot intentionally or unintentionally make it difficult for voters to clearly see on political advertisements who or what interest paid them will help voters be able to better evaluate the arguments to which they are being subjected during political campaigns and therefore make more informed voting decisions.
(c) Voters and even the initiative, referendum, and recall circulators who are approaching them often are not aware of which interests are funding proposed initiatives they are being asked to qualify for the ballot.
(d) Although initiative, referendum, and recall circulators are required to show an information sheet listing the top three funders paying for their circulation to voters before they let voters sign, many circulators do not do so.
(e) Adding language to initiative, referendum, or recall petitions asking voters to verify that they have been shown who is paying to circulate them will ensure that circulators show voters that information. This will help voters better evaluate the arguments that initiative circulators are making about the need for the proposed measure and make more informed decisions on whether to sign.

SEC. 2.

 Section 101 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

101.
 (a)Notwithstanding any other law, a state or local initiative initiative, referendum, or recall petition required to be signed by voters shall contain in 11-point type, before that portion of the petition for voters’ signatures, printed names, and residence addresses, the following language, in order:


(1)

(a) “NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC:”. This text shall be in a boldface font.
(b) If the petition includes the disclosure statement described by subdivision (b) of Section 107, the text “SIGN ONLY IF IT IS THE SAME MONTH SHOWN IN THE OFFICIAL TOP FUNDERS OR YOU SAW AN “OFFICIAL TOP FUNDERS” SHEET FOR THIS MONTH.” This text shall be in a boldface font.

(2)

(c) If the petition does not include the disclosure statement described by subdivision (b) of Section 107, the text “YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEE AN “OFFICIAL TOP FUNDERS” SHEET.” “SIGN ONLY IF YOU SAW THE “OFFICIAL TOP FUNDERS” SHEET FOR THIS MONTH. This text shall be in a boldface font.

(3)

(d) “THIS PETITION MAY BE CIRCULATED BY A PAID SIGNATURE GATHERER OR A VOLUNTEER. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK.” This text shall be in a non-boldface font.

(b)A state initiative petition shall contain, in the same location and type size described in subdivision (a), the following language:


“THE PROPONENTS OF THIS PROPOSED INITIATIVE MEASURE HAVE THE RIGHT TO WITHDRAW THIS PETITION AT ANY TIME BEFORE THE MEASURE QUALIFIES FOR THE BALLOT.”


SEC. 3.

 Section 105 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

105.
 (a) (1) For purposes of verifying a signature on an initiative, referendum, recall, nomination, or other election petition or paper, the elections official shall determine that the residence address on the petition or paper is the same as the residence address on the affidavit of registration. If the addresses are different, or if the petition or paper does not specify the residence address, or, in the case of an initiative or referendum petition, the information specified in Section 9020 is not contained in the petition, the affected signature shall not be counted as valid.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the elections official shall not invalidate a signature for an incomplete or inaccurate apartment or unit number in the signer’s residence address.
(3) If the initials required by paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 9020 are not present or do not match the letters of the printed name, the signature shall not be counted as valid. A signature shall not be invalidated if extra initials are included (e.g. for a middle initial), as long as the first and last initials match the printed name.
(b) A signature invalidated pursuant to this section shall not affect the validity of another valid signature on the particular petition or paper.

SEC. 4.

 Section 107 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

107.
 (a) (1) A committee formed pursuant to Section 82013 of the Government Code that pays for the circulation of a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition shall create an Official Top Funders sheet as follows, with all text in a black roman type with a type size of 14 point on a plain, contrasting background, and centered horizontally, except as described below. None of the text shall have its type condensed or have the spacing between characters reduced to be narrower than a normal roman type. Unless otherwise specified, the text shall not be boldface.
(2) At the top of the sheet shall appear the text “OFFICIAL TOP FUNDERS. Valid only for”, followed by a month and year that starts at most seven days after the date the top contributors as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 84501 of the Government Code were last confirmed. This text shall be boldface and with a type size of at least 16 point.
(3) Next, separated by a blank horizontal line from the text in paragraph (2), shall appear the title of the initiative, referendum, or recall as it appears on the petition, in all capital letters.
(4) (A) Next, separated by a blank horizontal line from the text in paragraph (3), shall appear a disclosure statement in a printed or drawn box with a black border.
(B) At the top of the disclosure statement shall appear the text “Petition circulation paid for by” in boldface text.
(C) Next, on a separate horizontal line, shall appear the name of the committee as it appears on the most recent Statement of Organization filed pursuant to Section 84101 of the Government Code. If the committee has any top contributors as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 84501 of the Government Code, it shall be followed by a blank horizontal line and then the underlined text “Committee major funding from:”.
(D) The top contributors as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 84501 of the Government Code, if any, shall each be disclosed in boldface text on a separate horizontal line separate from any other text, in descending order, beginning with the top contributor who made the largest cumulative contributions, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 84501 of the Government Code, on the first line.
(E) The committee, in its discretion, may include the underlined text “Endorsed by:”, followed by a list, not underlined, of up to three endorsers. The text pursuant to this subparagraph shall be separated from the text above and below it by a blank horizontal line.
(F) The following line shall include the text “Latest Official Top Funders:” followed by either (i) the internet web page on the Secretary of State’s internet website that lists the “Official Top Funders” statements that are reported pursuant to subdivision (f), or (ii) the internet website described in subdivision (c).
(5) If the petition is a state initiative petition, next, separated by at least two blank horizontal lines from the disclosures of paragraph (4) and (5), shall appear the text “OFFICIAL TITLE AND SUMMARY (SAME AS ON PETITION)”, in boldface text in all capital letters.
(6) If the petition is a state initiative petition, next, starting on a separate horizontal line, shall appear the text “The Attorney General of California has prepared the following circulating title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:”, in boldface text with a type size of 11 point.
(7) If the petition is a state initiative petition, next, starting on a separate horizontal line, shall appear the Attorney General summary of the initiative as it appears on the initiative petition, in plain text with a type size of 11 point.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition that requires voter signatures and for which the circulation is paid for by a committee formed pursuant to Section 82013 of the Government Code shall either include a disclosure statement on the petition that is displayed as follows or the circulator for the petition shall present as a separate document the Official Top Funders sheet described in subdivision (a) to a prospective signer of the petition.
(1) The disclosure statement shall have a solid white background and shall be in a printed or drawn box with a black border and shall appear before that portion of the petition for voters’ signatures, printed names, and residence addresses. The text in the disclosure area shall be in a black Arial equivalent type with a type size of at least 10 point, with all lines centered horizontally in the disclosure area.
(2) The top of the disclosure shall include the text “OFFICIAL TOP FUNDERS. Valid only for”, followed by a month and year that starts at most seven days after the date the top contributors as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 84501 of the Government Code were last confirmed. The text of this paragraph shall be boldface.
(3) Next shall appear, on a separate horizontal line, the text “Petition circulation paid for by”, followed by the name of the committee as it appears on the most recent Statement of Organization filed pursuant to Section 84101 of the Government Code. If the committee has any top contributors as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 84501 of the Government Code, it shall be followed by, on a separate horizontal line, the underlined text “Committee major funding from:”.
(4) The top contributors as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 84501 of the Government Code, if any, shall each be disclosed in boldface text on a separate horizontal line separate from any other text, in descending order, beginning with the top contributor who made the largest cumulative contributions, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 84501 of the Government Code, on the first line.
(5) The committee, in its discretion, may include the underlined text “Endorsed by:”, followed by a list, not underlined, of up to three endorsers. The text in this paragraph shall be separated from the text above and below it by a blank horizontal line.
(6) The following line shall include the text “Latest info:” followed by the URL for either (A) the internet web page on the Secretary of State’s internet website that lists the “Official Top Funders” statements that are reported pursuant to subdivision (f), or (B) the internet website described in subdivision (c). The text specified in this paragraph shall be underlined.
(c) Any committee formed pursuant to Section 82013 of the Government Code that pays for the circulation of a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition may create a page on an internet website that includes both of the following:
(1) A prominent link to the most recent Official Top Funders sheet as described in subdivision (a). The Official Top Funders sheet that the page links to shall be in a format that allows it to be viewed on an internet website and printed out on a single page of paper.
(2) A prominent link to the full text of the initiative or referendum.
(d) The disclosure of a top contributor or endorser pursuant to this section need not include terms such as “incorporated,” “committee,” “political action committee,” or “corporation,” or abbreviations of these terms, unless the term is part of the contributor’s or endorser’s name in common usage or parlance.
(e) If this section requires the disclosure of the name of a top contributor that is a committee pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 82013 of the Government Code and is a sponsored committee pursuant to Section 82048.7 of the Government Code with a single sponsor, only the name of the single sponsoring organization shall be disclosed.
(f) A committee that circulates a state initiative, referendum, or recall petition shall submit the Official Top Funders sheet required by subdivision (a), and any updates to that statement, to the Secretary of State, who shall post that statement on the Secretary of State’s internet website along with the previous versions the committee submitted.
(g) This section does not require a local elections official to verify the accuracy of the information required by this section or to re-approve the petition upon any updates the committee makes.
(h) Signatures collected on an initiative, referendum, or recall petition are not invalid solely because the information required by this section was absent or inaccurate.
(i) For purposes of this section, “endorser” means:
(1) A business that has been in existence for at least two years and has had at least one full-time staffer during that period.
(2) A non-profit organization that was not originally created for the purposes of serving as a committee, that has been in existence for at least two years, and either has received contributions from more than 50 500 donors in that period or has had at least one full-time staffer during that period.
(3) A political party.
(4) An individual, whose name may include their title if they are an elected official or represent one of the organizations described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3).

SEC. 5.

 Section 9008 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9008.
 Every proposed initiative measure, prior to circulation, shall have placed across the top of the petition in 11-point or larger roman boldface type, all of the following:
(a) The Attorney General’s unique numeric identifier placed before the circulating title and summary upon each page where the circulating title and summary is to appear.
(b) The circulating title and summary prepared by the Attorney General upon each page of the petition on which signatures are to appear. The circulating title shall appear in all capital letters.
(c) The circulating title and summary prepared by the Attorney General upon each section of the petition preceding the text of the measure.

(c)

(d) The circulating title and summary prepared by the Attorney General as required by subdivision (b) shall be preceded by the following statement: “INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE VOTERS.”, followed by, on a separate line, “The Attorney General of California has prepared the following circulating title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:” This text shall be in boldface.

SEC. 6.

 Section 9020 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9020.
 (a) The petition sections shall be designed so that each signer shall personally affix all of the following:
(1) His or her The signer’s signature.
(2) His or her The signer’s printed name.
(3) His or her The signer’s residence address, giving street and number, or if no street or number exists, adequate designation of residence so that the location may be readily ascertained. An incomplete or inaccurate apartment or unit number in his or her the signer’s residence address shall not invalidate his or her their signature pursuant to Section 105.
(4) The name of his or her the signer’s incorporated city or unincorporated community.
(5) The signer’s initials, after the following text: “I certify that I saw the “Official Top Funders” and its month is still valid (Do not sign if it isn’t). Initial:”. This text and space for the signer to initial shall be on a separate horizontal line from the spaces for the signer to affix the information specified in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive.
(b) Only a person who is a qualified registered voter at the time of signing the petition is entitled to sign it.
(c) The number of signatures attached to each section shall be at the pleasure of the person soliciting the signatures.

SEC. 7.

 Section 9105 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9105.
 (a) The county elections official shall immediately transmit a copy of any proposed measure to the county counsel. Within 15 days after the proposed measure is filed, the county counsel shall provide and return to the county elections official a ballot title and summary for the proposed measure. The ballot title may differ from any other title of the proposed measure and shall express in 500 words or less the purpose of the proposed measure. In providing the ballot title, the county counsel shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the proposed measure in such language that the ballot title shall neither be an argument, nor be likely to create prejudice, for or against the proposed measure.
(b) The county elections official shall furnish a copy of the ballot title and summary to the proponents of the proposed measure. The proponents shall, prior to the circulation of the petition, publish the Notice of Intention, and the ballot title and summary of the proposed measure in a newspaper of general circulation published in that county, and file proof of publication with the county elections official.
(c) The ballot title and summary prepared by the county counsel shall appear upon each section of the petition, above the text of the proposed measure and across the top of each page of the petition on which signatures are to appear, in roman boldface type not smaller than 11 point. The ballot title and summary shall be clearly separated from the text of the measure. The text of the measure shall be printed in type not smaller than 8 point. The heading of the proposed measure shall be in a boldface type in substantially the following form:
INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE DIRECTLY SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS
The county counsel has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:
(Here set forth the title and summary prepared by the county counsel. This title and summary must also be printed across the top of each page of the petition whereon signatures are to appear.)

SEC. 8.

 Section 9203 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9203.
 (a) Any person who is interested in any proposed measure shall file a copy of the proposed measure with the elections official with a request that a ballot title and summary be prepared. This request shall be accompanied by the address of the person proposing the measure. The elections official shall immediately transmit a copy of the proposed measure to the city attorney. Within 15 days after the proposed measure is filed, the city attorney shall provide and return to the city elections official a ballot title for and summary of the proposed measure. The ballot title may differ from any other title of the proposed measure and shall express in 500 words or less the purpose of the proposed measure. In providing the ballot title, the city attorney shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the proposed measure in such language that the ballot title shall neither be an argument, nor be likely to create prejudice, for or against the proposed measure.
(b) The elections official shall furnish a copy of the ballot title and summary to the person filing the proposed measure. The person proposing the measure shall, prior to its circulation, place upon each section of the petition, above the text of the proposed measure and across the top of each page of the petition on which signatures are to appear, in roman boldface type not smaller than 11 point, the ballot title prepared by the city attorney. The text of the measure shall be printed in type not smaller than 8 point. The heading of the proposed measure shall be in a boldface type in substantially the following form:
INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE DIRECTLY SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS
The city attorney has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:
(Here set forth the title and summary prepared by the city attorney. This title and summary must also be printed across the top of each page of the petition whereon signatures are to appear.)

SEC. 9.

 Section 84501 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84501.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) (1) “Advertisement” means any general or public communication that is authorized and paid for by a committee for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate or candidates for elective office or a ballot measure or ballot measures.
(2) “Advertisement” does not include any of the following:
(A) A communication from an organization, other than a political party, to its members.
(B) An electronic media communication addressed to recipients, such as email messages or text messages, from an organization to persons who have opted in or asked to receive messages from the organization. This subparagraph does not apply to a customer who has opted in to receive communications from a provider of goods or services, unless the customer has provided express approval to receive political messages from that provider of goods or services.
(C) Any communication that was solicited by the recipient, including, but not limited to, acknowledgments for contributions or information that the recipient communicated to the organization, or responses to an electronic message sent by the recipient to the same mobile number or email address.
(D) A campaign button smaller than 10 inches in diameter; a bumper sticker smaller than 60 square inches; or a small tangible promotional item, such as a pen, pin, or key chain, upon which the disclosure required cannot be conveniently printed or displayed.
(E) Wearing apparel.
(F) Sky writing.
(G) Any other type of communication, as determined by regulations of the Commission, for which inclusion of the disclosures required by Sections 84502 to 84509, inclusive, is impracticable or would severely interfere with the committee’s ability to convey the intended message due to the nature of the technology used to make the communication.
(b) “Cumulative contributions” means the cumulative amount of contributions received by a committee beginning 12 months before the date of the expenditure and ending seven days before the time the advertisement is sent to the printer or broadcaster.
(c) (1) “Top contributors” means the persons from whom the committee paying for an advertisement has received its three highest cumulative contributions of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more. more in the case of an advertisement in support of or opposition to a state measure or a statewide candidate, except for a candidate for the State Board of Equalization, or of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more in the case of an advertisement in support of or opposition to any other measure or candidate, including a candidate for the State Board of Equalization.
(2) A tie between two or more contributors qualifying as top contributors shall be resolved by determining the contributor who made the most recent contribution to the committee, in which case the most recent contributor shall be listed before any other contributor of the same amount.
(3) If a committee primarily formed to support or oppose a state candidate or ballot measure contributes funds to another committee primarily formed to support or oppose the same state candidate or ballot measure and the funds used for the contribution were earmarked to support or oppose that candidate or ballot measure, the committee receiving the earmarked contribution shall disclose the contributors who earmarked their funds as the top contributor or contributors on the advertisement if the definition of top contributor provided for in paragraph (1) is otherwise met. If the committee receiving the earmarked contribution contributes any portion of the contribution to another committee primarily formed to support or oppose the specifically identified ballot measure or candidate, that committee shall disclose the true source of the contribution to the new committee receiving the earmarked funds. The new committee shall disclose the contributor on the new committee’s advertisements if the definition of top contributor provided for in paragraph (1) is otherwise met.
(A) The primarily formed committee making the earmarked contribution shall provide the primarily formed committee receiving the earmarked contribution with the name, address, occupation, and employer, if any, or principal place of business, if self-employed, of the contributor or contributors who earmarked their funds and the amount of the earmarked contribution from each contributor at the time the contribution is made. If the committee making the contribution received earmarked contributions that exceed the amount contributed or received contributions that were not earmarked, the committee making the contribution shall use a reasonable accounting method to determine which top contributors to identify pursuant to this subparagraph, but in no case shall the same contribution be disclosed more than one time to avoid disclosure of additional contributors who earmarked their funds.
(B) The committee receiving the earmarked contribution may rely on the information provided pursuant to subparagraph (A) for purposes of complying with the disclosure required by Section 84503 and shall be considered in compliance with Section 84503 if the information provided pursuant to subparagraph (A) is disclosed as otherwise required.
(C) For purposes of this paragraph, funds are considered “earmarked” if any of the circumstances described in subdivision (b) of Section 85704 apply.
(4) If an advertisement paid for by a committee supports or opposes a candidate, the determination of top contributors pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not include any nonprofit organization exempt from federal income taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code or any person who has prohibited in writing the use of that person’s contributions to support or oppose candidates if the committee does not use such contributions to support or oppose candidates.

SEC. 10.

 Section 84502 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84502.
 (a) (1) Any advertisement not described in subdivision (b) of Section 84504.3 that is paid for by a committee pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 82013, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, shall include the words “Ad paid for by” followed by the name of the committee as it appears on the most recent Statement of Organization filed pursuant to Section 84101.
(2) Any advertisement not described in subdivision (b) of Section 84504.3 that is paid for by a committee pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 82013 that is a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate shall include the words “Ad paid for by” followed by the name of the committee as it appears on the most recent Statement of Organization filed pursuant to Section 84101 if the advertisement is any of the following:
(A) Paid for by an independent expenditure.
(B) An advertisement supporting or opposing a ballot measure.
(C) A radio or television advertisement.
(D) A text message advertisement that is required to include a disclosure pursuant to Section 84504.7.
(b) Any advertisement not described in subdivision (b) of Section 84504.3 that is paid for by a committee pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 82013 shall include the words “Ad paid for by” followed by the name that the filer is required to use on campaign statements pursuant to subdivision (o) of Section 84211.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), if an advertisement is a printed letter, internet website, or email message, the text described in subdivisions (a) and (b) may include the words “Paid for by” instead of “Ad paid for by.”
(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), if an advertisement is a text message, the text described in subdivisions (a) and (b) may include the words “Paid for by” or “With,” instead of “Ad paid for by.”
(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if an advertisement is a video advertisement that is disseminated over the internet and has top contributors that make it subject to Section 84503, or is an electronic media advertisement subject to subdivision (b) of Section 84504.3, then the text for the name of the committee may be shortened by either of the following:
(1) Displaying only enough of the first part of the committee name to uniquely identify the committee. If the committee is a sponsored committee, then the name displayed must include the portion of the committee name that identifies the sponsor or sponsors, unless all of the sponsors are disclosed on the ad as top contributors as required by Section 84503. For example, if ACME Corporation is not listed as a top contributor, then a committee named “Yes on 99, Californians for a Better Tomorrow, a coalition of X, Y, and Z. Sponsored by ACME Corporation” may be disclosed as only “Yes on 99, Californians for a Better Tomorrow. Sponsored by ACME Corporation”.
(2) Displaying the words “Committee ID” followed by the committee’s identification number.

SEC. 11.

 Section 84503 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84503.
 (a) Any advertisement not described in subdivision (b) of Section 84504.3 that is paid for by a committee pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 82013, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, shall include the words “committee major funding from” “Ad Committee’s Top Funders” unless only one contributor qualifies as a top contributor, in which case the advertisement shall include the words “Ad Committee’s Top Funder”. These words shall be followed by the names of the top contributors to the committee paying for the advertisement. If fewer than three contributors qualify as top contributors, only those contributors that qualify shall be disclosed pursuant to this section. If there are no contributors that qualify as top contributors, this disclosure is not required.
(b) The disclosure of a top contributor pursuant to this section need shall not include terms such as “incorporated,” “committee,” “political action committee,” or “corporation,” or abbreviations of these terms, unless the term is part of the contributor’s name in common usage or parlance.
(c) If this article requires the disclosure of the name of a top contributor that is a committee pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 82013 and is a sponsored committee pursuant to Section 82048.7 with a single sponsor, only the name of the single sponsoring organization shall be disclosed.
(d) This section does not apply to a committee as defined by subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 82013.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if an advertisement is a printed letter, internet website, email message, or text message, the text described in subdivision (a) may include the words “Committee Top Funders” or “Committee Top Funder” instead of “Ad Committee’s Top Funders” or “Ad Committee’s Top Funder”.

SEC. 12.

 Section 84504 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84504.
 (a) An advertisement paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, that is disseminated over the radio or by telephonic means shall include the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 at the beginning or end of the advertisement, read in a clearly spoken manner and in a pitch and tone substantially similar to the rest of the advertisement, and shall last no less than three seconds.
(b) Notwithstanding the definition of “top contributors” in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 84501, radio and prerecorded telephonic advertisements shall disclose only the top two contributors of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more unless the advertisement lasts 15 seconds or less or the disclosure statement would last more than eight seconds, in which case only the single top contributor of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more shall be disclosed.

SEC. 13.

 Section 84504.1 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84504.1.
 (a) An advertisement paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, that is disseminated as a video, including advertisements on television and videos disseminated over the Internet, shall include the disclosures required by Sections 84502 and 84503 at the beginning or end of the advertisement.
(b) The disclosure required by subdivision (a) shall be written and displayed for at least five seconds of a broadcast of 30 seconds or less or for at least 10 seconds of a broadcast that lasts longer than 30 seconds.
(1) The written disclosure required by subdivision (a) shall appear on a solid black background on the entire bottom one-third of the television or video display screen, or bottom one-fourth of the screen if the committee does not have or is otherwise not required to list top contributors, and shall be in a contrasting color in Arial equivalent type, and the type size for the smallest letters in the written disclosure shall be 4 percent of the height of the television or video display screen. The
(2) The disclosures required by Section 84502 shall be white. The disclosures required by Section 84503, if any, shall be yellow, and shall be separated from the disclosures required by Section 84503 by a blank horizontal space at least 2 percent of the height of the television or video display screen. The top contributors, if any, shall each be disclosed on a separate horizontal line separate from any other text, in descending order, beginning with the top contributor who made the largest cumulative contributions on the first line. All disclosure text shall be centered horizontally in the disclosure area. If there are any top contributors, the written disclosures shall be underlined in a manner clearly visible to the average viewer, except for the names of the top contributors, if any.

(2)

(3) The name names of the top contributor contributors shall not have its their type condensed or have the spacing between characters reduced to be narrower than a normal non-condensed Arial equivalent type, unless doing so is necessary to keep the name of the top contributor from exceeding the width of the screen. type.
(4) If the name of one or more top contributor exceeds the width of the screen and is required to wrap onto a second line, then the name of each contributor shall be preceded by the symbol “>“ followed by a space.
(c) An advertisement that is an independent expenditure supporting or opposing a candidate shall include the appropriate statement from Section 84506.5 in the solid black background described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) below all other text required to appear in that area in a contrasting color white and in Arial equivalent type no less than 2.5 percent and no more than 3 percent of the height of the television or video display screen. This statement shall be separated from the disclosures required by Section 84502 and 84503 by a blank horizontal space at least 2 percent of the height of the television or video display screen. If including this statement causes the disclosures to exceed one-third of the television or video display screen, then it may instead be printed immediately above the background with sufficient contrast that is easily readable by the average viewer.
(d) Any text or image not required in this section shall not appear in the disclosure area.

SEC. 14.

 Section 84504.2 of the Government Code, as amended by Section 6 of Chapter 558 of the Statutes of 2019, is amended to read:

84504.2.
 (a) A print advertisement designed to be individually distributed, including, but not limited to, a mailer, flyer, or door hanger, that is paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, shall include the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5, displayed as follows:
(1) The disclosure area shall have a solid white background and shall be in a printed or drawn box on the bottom of at least one page that is set apart from any other printed matter. All text in the disclosure area shall be in contrasting color and centered horizontally in the disclosure area.
(2) The text shall be in an Arial equivalent type with a type size of at least 10-point.
(3) The top of the disclosure area shall include the disclosure required by Sections 84502 and 84503. The text of the disclosure shall be underlined if there are any top contributors.
(4) The top contributors, if any, shall each be disclosed on a separate horizontal line separate from any other text, in descending order, beginning with the top contributor who made the largest cumulative contributions on the first line. The name of each of the top contributors shall be centered horizontally in the disclosure area and shall not be underlined. The names of the top contributors shall not be printed in a type that is condensed to be narrower than a normal non-condensed Arial equivalent type.
(5) An advertisement supporting or opposing a candidate that is paid for by an independent expenditure shall include the disclosure required by Section 84506.5, which shall be underlined and on a separate line below any of the top contributors.
(6) A committee subject to Section 84223 shall next include the text “Funding Details At [insert link to Secretary of State internet website page with top 10 contributor lists],” which shall be underlined and printed on a line separate from any other text at the bottom of the disclosure area.
(7) Notwithstanding the definition of “top contributors” in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 84501, newspaper, magazine, or other public print advertisements that are 20 square inches or less shall be required to disclose only the single largest top contributor of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more. contributor.
(b) A print advertisement that is larger than those designed to be individually distributed, including, but not limited to, a yard sign or billboard, paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, shall include the disclosures pursuant to Section 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 in a printed or drawn box with a solid white background on the bottom of the advertisement that is set apart from any other printed matter. Each line of the written disclosures shall be in a contrasting color in Arial equivalent type no less than 5 percent of the height of the advertisement, and shall not be condensed to be narrower than a normal non-condensed Arial equivalent type. The text may be adjusted so it does not appear on separate horizontal lines, with the top contributors separated by a comma.
(c) Any text or image not required in this section shall not appear in the disclosure area.

SEC. 15.

 Section 84504.3 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84504.3.
 (a) This section applies to an electronic media advertisement if either of the following is true:
(1) The advertisement is paid for by a committee other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate.
(2) The advertisement is paid for by a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, and is either of the following:
(A) Paid for by an independent expenditure.
(B) An advertisement supporting or opposing a ballot measure.
(b) An electronic media advertisement that is a graphic, image, animated graphic, or animated image that the online platform hosting the advertisement allows to link to an internet website paid for by a committee shall comply with both of the following:

(1)Include the text “Who funded this ad?,” “Paid for by,” or “Ad Paid for by” in a contrasting color and a font size that is easily readable by the average viewer for the duration of the advertisement.

(2)The text shall be included or displayed as a hyperlink, icon, button, or tab to an internet website containing the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 in a contrasting color and in no less than 8-point font.

(c)Notwithstanding subdivision (b), the text required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) is not required if including the language in an 8-point font would take up more than one-third of the graphic or image. In those circumstances, the advertisement need only include a hyperlink to an internet website containing the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5.

(1) Unless the disclosure area described in paragraph (2) includes the full disclosure text required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5, the advertisement shall contain a hyperlink to an internet website containing the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 in a contrasting color and in no less than 8-point font.
(2) The advertisement shall include the disclosures required by Section 84502 followed by the disclosures required by Section 84503, if any, displayed according to the following:
(A) The disclosure area shall have a solid white or black background and shall be in a box on the bottom of the advertisement. The text in the disclosure area shall be in an Arial equivalent type with a type size of at least 8-point and shall not have its type condensed or have the spacing between characters reduced to be narrower than a normal non-condensed Arial equivalent type.
(B) The disclosures required by Section 84502 shall be in a black type for a solid white background and white type for a solid black background.
(C) The disclosures required by Section 84503, if any, shall be in a blue type for a solid white background and a yellow type for a solid black background. Notwithstanding Section 84503, the disclosure area may disclose only the largest top contributor to the committee paying for the advertisement.
(D) Unless the disclosure area includes the full disclosure text required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5, the disclosure required by subparagraph (C) shall be followed by the word “More”, which shall be underlined and shall be in a blue type for a solid white background and a yellow type for a solid black background.
(E) The disclosure required by Section 84506.5 may be displayed at the bottom of the disclosure box, separated from the disclosures required by Sections 84503 by a blank horizontal line. If displayed, this text shall be in a black type for a solid white background and a white type for a solid black background. This text is not required to be displayed in the disclosure area if the advertisement hyperlinks to a website containing the disclosures as described by paragraph (1).
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), if including the text required by paragraph (2) in an 8-point font would take up more than 25 percent of the graphic or image when using the committee identification number for the Section 84502 disclosure, listing at most one top contributor for the Section 84503 disclosure, and not including any Section 84506.5 disclosure, then the disclosure area described in paragraph (2) may instead include the text “Who funded this ad?”. This text shall be in an Arial equivalent type with a type size of at least 8-point in a blue type for a solid white background and a white or yellow type for a solid black background.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (3), the disclosure area required by paragraph (2) is not required if it would take up more than 25 percent of the graphic or image even using the “Who funded this ad?” option allowed by paragraph (3). In those circumstances, the advertisement need only include a hyperlink to an internet website containing the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5.
(5) Any text or image not required by this subdivision shall not appear in the disclosure area.

(d)

(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (b) and (c), subdivision (a), an email message or internet website paid for by a committee shall include the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 printed clearly and legibly in a contrasting color and in no less than 8-point font at the top or bottom of the email message, or at the top or bottom of every publicly accessible page of the internet website, as applicable.

(e)

(d) An internet website that is linked as provided for in paragraph (2) (1) of subdivision (b) shall remain online and available to the public until 30 days after the date of the election in which the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed by the advertisement was voted upon.

(f)

(e) An advertisement made via a form of electronic media that is audio only and therefore cannot include either of the disclosures in subdivision (b) shall comply with the disclosure requirements for radio advertisements in Section 84504.

(g)

(f) An electronic media advertisement that is disseminated as a video shall comply with the disclosure requirements of Sections 84504.1 and 84504.5, depending on the type of committee that paid for it. If the video is longer than 30 seconds, the disclosures required by Sections 84504.1 and 84504.5 shall be made at the beginning of the advertisement.

(h)

(g) (1) An advertisement made via a form of electronic media that allows users to engage in discourse and post content, or any other type of social media, shall only be required to include the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5 in a contrasting color that is easily readable by the average viewer and in no less than 10-point font on the cover or header photo of the committee’s profile, landing page, or similar location and shall not be required to include the disclosure required by subdivision (b) on each individual post, comment, or other similar communication. The disclosures specified in this subdivision shall be fully visible on the cover or header photo when the profile, landing page, or similar location is viewed from any electronic device that is commonly used to view this form of electronic media, including, but not limited to, a computer screen, laptop, tablet, or smart phone.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if making the disclosures specified in paragraph (1) fully visible on a commonly used electronic device would be impracticable, the cover or header photo of the profile, landing page, or similar location need only include a hyperlink, icon, button, or tab to an internet website containing the disclosures specified in paragraph (1).

(i)

(h) The disclosures required by this section do not apply to advertisements made via social media for which the only expense or cost of the communication is compensated staff time unless the social media account where the content is posted was created only for the purpose of advertisements governed by this title.

SEC. 16.

 Section 84504.7 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84504.7.
 (a) A candidate or committee shall not authorize or pay for an advertisement that is a text message, unless the disclosures described in subdivision (b) are made, if the text message meets one of the following conditions:
(1) The text message supports or opposes a candidate.
(2) The text message supports or opposes a ballot measure.
(b) (1) A committee, other than a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, subject to subdivision (a) shall include the text “Paid for by” or “With” followed by either the name of the committee, or a hyperlink or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for an internet website containing the disclosures required by Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5. The text of the disclosures on the internet website shall be in a color that reasonably contrasts with the background on which it appears and in no less than eight-point font. If the word “With” is used, the individual sending the text shall identify themselves in the following manner: “(Name of individual) with (name of committee or hyperlink or URL).” A disclosure using the word “With” may appear anywhere in the text message, including in conversational content, and need not appear as a separate statement apart from the other content of the message.
(2) A candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate subject to subdivision (a) shall include the text “Paid for by” or “With” followed by the name of the candidate, followed by the word “For,” and followed by the name of the elective office sought. If the word “With” is used, the individual sending the text shall identify themselves in the following manner: “(Name of individual) with (name of candidate) for (name of elective office).” A disclosure using the word “With” may appear anywhere in the text message, including in conversational content, and need not appear as a separate statement apart from the other content of the message.
(3) A committee subject to subdivision (a) that has top contributors, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, shall comply with the following:
(A) Immediately following the name of the committee or the hyperlink or URL required by paragraph (1), the text message shall also include the text “Top funders:” followed by the names of the top two contributors of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more to the committee paying for the advertisement, separated by “&” or “and.”
(B) The names of the top two contributors may be spelled using acronyms, abbreviations, or other shorthand in common usage or parlance. If a top contributor is an individual, their first and last name shall both be used.
(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), if the disclosures required by paragraph (1) and this paragraph would exceed 35 characters, the text message shall may disclose only the single largest top contributor of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more to the committee paying for the advertisement.
(D) If only one top contributor to the committee paying for the advertisement is disclosed, the text message may include the text “Top funder:” instead of “Top funders:” in front of it.

(D)

(E) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), if the text message includes the name of the committee paying for the advertisement in accordance with paragraph (1), and the committee’s name includes the name of one of the top two contributors of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more to the committee paying for the advertisement, the text message is not required to include the name of that contributor after the text “Top funders:”. funders:” or “Top funder:”.
(4) The text required to be included in a text message sent pursuant to this subdivision shall be in a color that reasonably contrasts with the background on which it appears and in a font size that is readable by the average viewer.
(c) (1) This section does not apply to a text message that is individually sent without the assistance of mass distribution technology, including a text messaging platform.
(2) If a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elected office of the controlling candidate, subject to subdivision (a) that has top contributors uses individuals who are unpaid volunteers to send text messages with the assistance of mass distribution technology, including a text message platform, the text messages sent by individuals who are unpaid volunteers are not required to disclose the top two contributors pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b). Text messages sent by unpaid volunteers shall include a disclosure stating that the text message is being sent by a volunteer. For purposes of this paragraph, receiving payments for food, transportation, or lodging in connection with campaign activity shall not disqualify a person from being classified as an unpaid volunteer.
(d) An internet website that is hyperlinked as provided for in this section shall remain online and available to the public until 30 days after the date of the election in which the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed by the advertisement was voted on.
(e) (1) If an exchange consists of a sequence of multiple text messages sent on the same day, a candidate or committee shall be deemed in compliance with this section if the candidate or committee sends the disclosures required by subdivision (b) with the first text message in the sequence that meets one of the conditions of subdivision (a).
(2) A committee shall be deemed in compliance with this section if the disclosures required by subdivision (b) are included in the text message in the form the committee intended it to be sent, regardless of the form the carrier relayed it to the recipient.
(3) If a committee includes a hyperlink or URL in the text message sent pursuant to subdivision (b), the committee shall be deemed to be in compliance with subdivision (b) even if the recipient’s device is incapable of accessing the corresponding internet website.

SEC. 17.

 Section 84505 of the Government Code is amended to read:

84505.
 (a) In addition to the requirements of Sections 84502, 84503, and 84506.5, the committee placing the advertisement or persons acting in concert with that committee shall be prohibited from creating or using a noncandidate-controlled committee or a nonsponsored committee to avoid, or that results in the avoidance of, the disclosure of any individual, industry, business entity, controlled committee, or sponsored committee as a top contributor.
(b) Written disclosures required by Sections 84503 and 84506.5 shall not appear in all capital letters, except that capital letters shall be permitted for the beginning of a sentence, the beginning of a proper name or location, part of the contributor’s trademark name or part of its name in common usage or parlance, or as otherwise required by conventions of the English language.

SEC. 18.

 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. 19.

 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.

(a)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1)For voters to make an informed choice in the political marketplace, political advertisements should not intentionally deceive voters about the identity of who or what interest is trying to persuade them how to vote.

(2)Disclosing who or what interest paid for a political advertisement will help voters be able to better evaluate the arguments to which they are being subjected during political campaigns and therefore make more informed voting decisions.

(3)For disclosures on political advertisements to effectively show voters who paid for the political advertisements, they must clearly and prominently display the largest major donors in a way that does not confuse voters.

(4)The Legislature passed the California Disclose Act, Assembly Bill 249 of the 2017–18 Regular Session (Chapter 546 of the Statutes of 2017), which established clear-cut requirements and formatting rules for disclosures on political advertisements, but since then many campaign committees have abused some of its requirements and rules in ways that make it difficult for voters see the largest major donors.

(5)Many large donors have been avoiding disclosures on political advertisements in local and legislative races by giving just under the current $50,000 threshold for disclosure on the advertisements as a top contributor, lessening voters’ ability to make informed decisions in those local and legislative races despite the major impact such large contributions have on those races.

(6)The Legislature passed Senate Bill 47 of the 2019–20 Regular Session (Chapter 563 of the Statutes of 2019) with the intent to ensure that voters are always shown an information sheet listing the top three contributors paying for the circulation of an initiative, referendum, or recall petition before they sign the petition.

(7)Many initiative, referendum, and recall signature-gatherers have not been showing the required information sheets listing the top three contributors to voters before they sign the petition, denying them information that could allow them to make more informed decisions about whether to sign.

(b)It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would curtail abuses of disclosures on political advertisements with clearer formatting rules and by lowering the threshold for top contributors to be displayed in local and legislative races to a threshold more appropriate for those races. It is also the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would better ensure that voters are always shown an information sheet listing the top three contributors paying for the circulation of an initiative, referendum, or recall petition before they sign the initiative petition.