Bill Text: CA AB201 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Political Reform Act of 1974: campaign disclosure: text messages.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-12 - From committee: Amend, and do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 7. Noes 0.) (April 10). [AB201 Detail]

Download: California-2019-AB201-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 14, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 201


Introduced by Assembly Member Cervantes

January 14, 2019


An act to add Section 84504.7 to the Government Code, relating to the Political Reform Act of 1974.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 201, as amended, Cervantes. Political Reform Act of 1974: campaign disclosure: mass text messages.
The Political Reform Act of 1974 provides for the comprehensive regulation of campaign financing and activities. The act defines “mass mailing” to mean over two hundred substantially similar pieces of mail, and defines “mass electronic mailing” to mean sending more than 200 substantially similar pieces of electronic mail within a calendar month. The act prohibits a candidate or committee from sending a mass mailing or mass electronic mailing unless certain information regarding the source of the mailing is shown in or on the mailing, as specified. The act also prohibits a mass mailing from being sent at public expense if, among other things, the mailing features an elected officer affiliated with the agency that produces or sends the mailing, or includes the name, office, photograph, or other reference to the elected officer and is prepared or sent in cooperation, consultation, coordination, or concert with the elected officer. The act also regulates political advertisements. The act requires electronic media advertisements, other than email messages or internet websites, paid for by a committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate controlled committee established for an elective office of the controlling candidate, to comply with certain disclosure requirements.
This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation establishing disclosure requirements for campaign-related mass text messages that include the name or image of a candidate for elective office or refer to a ballot measure. require a candidate or committee to disclose the name of the candidate or committee in certain text message advertisements and provide a hyperlink in the text message to an internet website containing more information about the candidate or committee, as specified.
Because a violation of the requirements of the bill would be a crime under an existing provision of the act, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the definition of a crime.
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: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 84504.7 is added to the Government Code, to read:

84504.7.
 (a) A candidate or committee shall not authorize or pay for an advertisement that is a text message, unless the disclosure described in subdivision (b) is made, if the text message meets one of the following conditions:
(1) The text message supports or opposes a candidate.
(2) The text message supports or opposes a ballot measure.
(b) A candidate or committee subject to subdivision (a) shall disclose the name of the candidate or committee in the text message and provide a hyperlink in the text message to an internet website containing more information about the candidate or committee. The disclosure shall be in the same font size as a majority of the text in the text message.
(c) A candidate or committee subject to subdivision (a) shall not contract with any vendor that does not disclose the information required to be disclosed by this section.
(d) This section does not apply to a text message that is individually sent without the assistance of mass distribution technology if either of the following conditions is met:
(1) The text message is sent by the candidate, the campaign manager, or individuals who are volunteers.
(2) The text message is sent in response to a voter who replies to a text message from a candidate or committee.
(e) An internet website that is hyperlinked as provided for in this section shall remain online and available to the public until 30 days after the date of the election in which the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed by the advertisement was voted on.

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.
SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation establishing disclosure requirements for campaign-related mass text messages that include the name or image of a candidate for elective office or refer to a ballot measure.

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