New Legislation & Regulations

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Read more about SB 84 here (regarding post-2020 elections online filing system for lobbying reporting)

AB 1574 Mullin D

Political Reform Act of 1974: lobbying expenditures: reporting.   The Political Reform Act of 1974 requires lobbyists employed by a lobbyist employer or a lobbying firm to provide a periodic report of the lobbyist’s activity expenses and contributions to the employer or firm within 2 weeks following the end of each quarter. The act requires lobbying firms, lobbyist employers, and persons who make payments to influence legislative or administrative action of $5,000 or more in value in any calendar quarter to file with the Secretary of State, during the month after the end of each calendar quarter of a biennial legislative session, reports regarding lobbying expenditures made during the calendar quarter. This bill would instead require those reports to be filed a monthly basis.

FPPC names new Executive Director

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), California’s governmental ethics and campaign disclosure agency, today announced the appointment of Thomas “TJ” Jones as the Commission’s Executive Director.

Jones brings extensive experience to the position. Prior to this appointment, Jones spent more than 12 year as the Ethics Enforcement Officer for the Connecticut Office of State Ethics, the first such ethics prosecutor appointed by that State. Before working for the Office of State Ethics in Connecticut, Jones was an Assistant Attorney General litigating consumer protection matters. He was lead counsel in numerous State and Federal litigations, including serving on a multi-state executive committee that litigated and successfully resolved national investigations into the Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/Firestone.

At last, timely disclosures for lobbyists

New bill aims to provide lobbying transparency.

Lobbyists and their employers are required to disclose the bills they work on and amount of money they spend—but only once per quarter. The quarterly reporting requirement is a vestige of a law passed in 1974, before computers and the Internet became things.

  • As a result, the public has no clue about the level of spending for and against bills until the fights are faded memories. Some of us who track lobbying, including your correspondent here at What Matters, have complained.

Those complaints were heard by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, a Democrat from South San Francisco, who has introduced (AB 1574) requiring that lobbyists and their employers file public reports once a month.

  • Separately, Mullin has introduced legislation, the Issue Ad Disclose Act, which would require real time disclosure when advocacy groups spend money on ad campaigns involving specific bills intended to sway legislators’ votes. Well-heeled interest groups increasingly use the tactic.

Expect lobbyists to get worked up about both measures, which would tweak the voter-approved California Political Reform Act and require approval by two-thirds votes in both houses of the Legislature.

Mullin: “The public ought to know how money moves during the session.”

CalMatters (WhatMatters; 2/26/19)

CAL-ACCESS Replacement System Project

Project Update as of February 28, 2019

The CARS Project Team has posted a CARS Project Update for Software Vendors and Service Providers to CARS Project News and Updates.

AB 2055 Update

Published: Sep 30, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed the following bill:

AB 2055 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) – Legislative ethics: harassment: education: lobbying.

SB 419 (Portantino) Legislature: Whistleblower protection and retaliation prevention.

(Chaptered-9/30/2018)

Status: 9/30/2018 Signed by the Governor

“A house of the Legislature shall not discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against a legislative advocate or a legislative employee because that person has opposed any practices forbidden under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Part 2.8 (commencing with Section 12900) of Division 3), opposed any practice actionable under Section 51 or 51.9 of the Civil Code, or filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding relating to a complaint of discriminatory harassment made pursuant to those laws. A vote of the house or the deliberation of legislative matters within its jurisdiction shall not be considered an act to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against a legislative advocate or a legislative employee for purposes of this subdivision.”

 

ARCHIVES

AB 2055-(Levine D) Political Reform Act of 1974: Lobbyists: Sexual Harassment

“AB 2055 (Levine) proposes to prohibit a California registered lobbyist engaging in sexual harassment, as defined, and would authorize the [Fair Political Practices] Commission to order a lobbyist who violates this prohibition to cease all lobbying activity for a period of up to 4 years.”

AB 2055 defines “sexual harassment” as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that arises out of or in the course of employment.”

IGA notes that, as widely reported, last week, legislative officials released documents related to 18 sexual harassment investigations dating back to early 2006. The reports concluded allegations were validated in some way and/or discipline was imposed. None of those documents, however, pertained to lobbyists.

Two charts that legislative officials produced in response to media inquiries referred to another 12 individuals listed in allegations generically referred to as “lobbyists and others,” but no details were contained in those reports. It is unclear whether those allegations were ever supported by investigation efforts or dismissed.

AB 2055, lacks details as to how the FPPC would investigate or adjudicate cases involving such allegations.”

Click here for the full AB 2055 Bill text


SB 419-(Portantino D) Legislature: Legislative Sexual Harassment Retaliation Prevention Act.

 

The Secretary of State (SOS) has released an addendum (Addendum #02) for the CAL-ACCESS Replacement System (CARS) Request for Offer (RFO) for the System Integrator vendor.The CARS RFO webpage has been updated to include this information.

 

‘Other Payment to Influence’ Fact Sheet

 

California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) unveils new system to search and view “behested payments”

 

FPPC: New Lobbying Rules Power Point Presentation

 

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