New Legislation

By KC Jenkins

Last Updated 03/1/2019

Federal Legislation

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.

State Legislation

A number of bills have been introduced in the new legislative session to amend the Political Reform Act.

SB 71
This bill, sponsored by the FPPC, prohibits the expenditure of money in a legal defense fund campaign account for legal fees in connections with claims of unlawful practices made pursuant to specified provisions of law, such as sexual harassment, discrimination or other fair employment violations.

AB 220
The Political Reform Act prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay for professional services not directly related to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose. This bill would authorize the use of campaign funds to pay for child care expenses resulting from a candidate or officeholder engaging in campaign activities or performing official duties.

AB 359
This bill would extend the “revolving door” ban on the post-government activity of officials who have left state service from one year to five years.

AB 902
This bill, sponsored by the FPPC, would codify in law several current regulations that include definitions and deadlines, in order to clarify the Political Reform Act.

AB 903
This bill is also sponsored by the FPPC and seeks to clarify confusing legal language in state law related to pre-election statements and income from gifts or a business entity.

Constitutional Amendments

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.