Bill Text: CA AB1524 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Political Reform Act of 1974: mass mailing prohibitions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-04-26 - In committee: Set, first hearing. Testimony taken. [AB1524 Detail]

Download: California-2017-AB1524-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1524


Introduced by Assembly Member Brough

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 89004 to the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1524, as introduced, Brough. Political Reform Act of 1974: mass mailing prohibitions.
The Political Reform Act of 1974 prohibits sending mass mailings at public expense. The act defines “agency” as any state agency or local government agency and “mass mailing” as over 200 substantially similar pieces of mail not including form letters or other mail that is sent in response to an unsolicited request, letter, or other inquiry. Existing regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission add further definitional criteria for mass mailings and specify certain forms of mass mailing that are not subject to the act’s prohibition against mass mailings.
This bill would prohibit, within 90 days preceding an election, the sending of a mass mailing by either (1) a candidate, or on his or her behalf, if the candidate’s name will be on the ballot at that election, or (2) an agency, if a measure on the ballot at that election will have a direct financial impact on the agency, except as specified.
A willful violation of the act’s provisions is punishable as a misdemeanor. By expanding the scope of an existing 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.
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 89004 is added to the Government Code, to read:

89004.
 (a) Within 90 days preceding an election, a mass mailing shall not be sent by either of the following:
(1) A candidate, or on his or her behalf, if the candidate’s name will be on the ballot at that election.
(2) An agency, if a measure on the ballot at that election will have a direct financial impact on the agency, unless it is a school district or community college district providing information to the public about the possible effects of a bond issue or other ballot measure consistent with the criteria set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 7054 of the Education Code.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a mass mailing that is required by law to be sent to members of the public within 90 days preceding an election.
(c) For purposes of this section, “mass mailing” means a mass mailing, as defined by Section 82041.5, that is consistent with the criteria of subdivision (a) of Section 18901 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations and, pursuant to subdivision (b) of that section, is not prohibited by Section 89001.

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.
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