By KC Jenkins
Last Updated 04/25/2019
In January, Congressman Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced H.R. I, the For the People Act of 2019.
The bill covers three main areas: campaign finance reform, strengthening the government’s ethics laws, and expanding voting rights. Also in January, President Trump signed the JACK Act (S. 2896) requiring lobbyists to disclose convictions for bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion, fraud, conflicts of interest, making false statements, perjury, or money laundering.
California State – Proposed Legislation
This bill would prohibit a business entity from making a contribution to a candidate for elective state office.
This bill would prohibit any elected state or local officer, including any appointee, employee, or consultant, from using public resources for a campaign activity. “Public resources” includes any property or asset owned by the state or any local agency, such as land, buildings, facilities, funds, equipment, supplies, telephones, computers, vehicles, travel, and state-compensated time.
This bill authorizes the expenditure of campaign funds to pay for the installation and monitoring of hardware, software, and services related to the cybersecurity of the electronic devices of a candidate, elected officer, or campaign worker.
AB 864 – Disclose Act
This bill exempts from the definition of “mass electronic mailing” communications that were solicited by the recipient. It also clarifies that the advertisement exemption for those who opt in to receive email or text messages from an organization would 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.
This bill makes the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year (the day of a statewide general election) a state holiday. State employees are entitled to the holiday, and public schools and community colleges must be closed.
This bill would, effective January 1, 2021, establish default campaign contribution limits for county and city office at the same level as the contribution limit for state Senate and Assembly candidates. However, a county or city may establish its own contribution limits, which would prevail over the state limits.
Two notable Constitutional amendments have been proposed. The first would lower the voting age in California from 18 years old to 17.
The second would transfer the duty of preparing the title and summary for a proposed initiative or referendum from the Attorney General to the Legislative Analyst.