New Legislation

Last Updated April 2, 2024

State Legislation

The Legislature reconvened from spring recess on April 1. May 24 is the last day for each house to pass bills introduced in that house. The following bills have been recently introduced or amended:

AB 2803: prohibits expenditure of campaign funds for attorney’s fees, other legal defense costs, or any fine, penalty, judgment, or settlement relating to a conviction for a felony or an offense that involves moral turpitude, dishonesty, or fraud.

AB 2839: prohibits a person, committee, or other entity from knowingly distributing an advertisement or other election communication, as defined, that contains certain materially deceptive and digitally altered or digitally created images or audio or video files, as defined, with the intent to influence an election or solicit funds for a candidate or campaign, subject to specified exemptions. Applies this prohibition within 120 days of an election and, in specified cases, 60 days after an election. Authorize a recipient of a materially deceptive and digitally altered or digitally created image or audio or video file distributed in violation of this section, or a candidate or committee participating in the election, to file a civil action to enjoin the distribution of the media and to seek damages against the person, committee, or other entity that distributed it. Requires a court to place such proceedings on the calendar in the order of their date of filing and give the proceedings precedence.

AB 3008: expands the government salary exception to the definition of “income” to include salary and reimbursement for expenses or per diem, and social security, disability, or other similar benefit payments received from a tribal government agency.

AB 3239: allows campaign funds to be used to pay or reimburse airline travel expenses related to an emotional support animal belonging to and traveling with an individual whose airline travel may be paid for or reimbursed by campaign funds.

SB 1027: authorizes a campaign committee to redact the bank account number and the names of persons authorized to obtain bank account records on a copy of a Form 410 filed with a local filing officer, and requires the Secretary of State to redact that same information on a Form 410 filed with the Secretary of State before making the statement available to the public in any form. Due to Cal-Access limitations, redaction of the names of persons authorized to obtain bank account records would take effect only after the Cal-Access Replacement System is operational.

SB 1151: makes the agent of a foreign principal subject to the same registration and reporting requirements as lobbyists and lobbying firms under the PRA. Require a foreign agent to disclose on their registration statement any compensation received, contracted, or otherwise promised to the agent by each foreign principal.

SB 1155: prohibits, for a period of one year after leaving office, the head of a state administrative agency from lobbying the Legislature or a state administrative agency for compensation.

SB 1170: authorizes expenditure of campaign funds for mental healthcare expenses for non-incumbent candidates under limited circumstances.

SB 1243 (Levine Act amendments): raises the Levine Act contribution threshold from $250 to $1,000. Shortens the window from 12 months to 9 months before and after the final decision in a proceeding, and would not apply at all to contributions made before an application is filed or a proceeding is commenced. Removes the aggregation rule – a party’s or participant’s contributions would not aggregate with contributions by their agents. Excludes membership dues from the “financial interest” calculation for “participants.”

SB 1404 (same as last year’s SB 569): transfers the duty to conduct audits of lobbying entities from FTB to the FPPC. Requires the SOS to increase the yearly fee on lobbyist, and imposes an additional annual fee on lobbying firms and lobbyist employers in an amount set by the FPPC to offset the cost of the PRA’s lobbying audit program. Excludes placement agents and filers with less than $1 in activity from selection for audit.

Legislation in Other States – Oregon

House Bill 4024 was signed into law on March 20, 2024, and imposes contribution limits how much individuals, businesses, labor groups and others can contribute to candidates. The bill also creates a new system for disclosure of independent expenditures. It becomes effective on June 6, 2024.