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AB-1367 Political Reform Act of 1974: committee accounts and campaign funds.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 09/03/21 - Enrolled         Compare Versions information image


AB1367:v94#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 03, 2021
Passed  IN  Senate  August 30, 2021
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 01, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  July 13, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 21, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1367


Introduced by Assembly Member Low

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 89521 of the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1367, Low. Political Reform Act of 1974: committee accounts and campaign funds.
(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. The act prohibits the use of campaign funds for certain purposes, including expenditures that confer a substantial personal benefit that is not directly related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose. The act makes any person who makes or receives an honorarium, gift, or expenditure in violation of the provisions relating to campaign funds liable in a civil action brought by the Fair Political Practices Commission for an amount of up to 3 times the amount of the unlawful honorarium, gift, or expenditure.
This bill would make a person who uses campaign funds in a manner that violates these provisions and results in an egregious personal benefit liable in an administrative or civil action brought by the commission for an amount of up to 2 times the amount of the unlawful expenditure. The bill would define “egregious personal benefit” to mean a direct personal benefit with a total value of $10,000 or more to a candidate, elected officer, or any individual or individuals with authority to approve the expenditure of campaign funds held by a committee.
(2) A violation of the Political Reform Act of 1974 is punishable as a misdemeanor. By expanding the scope of a 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.
(3) 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: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 89521 of the Government Code is amended to read:

89521.
  (a)  Any person who makes or receives an honorarium, gift, or expenditure in violation of this chapter is liable in a civil action brought by the commission for an amount of up to three times the amount of the unlawful honorarium, gift, or expenditure.
(b) (1) Any person who uses campaign funds in a manner that violates this article and results in an egregious personal benefit is liable in an administrative or civil action brought by the commission for an amount of up to two times the amount of the unlawful expenditure.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “egregious personal benefit” means a direct personal benefit with a total value of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more to a candidate, elected officer, or any individual or individuals with authority to approve the expenditure of campaign funds held by a committee.

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.