The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), California’s governmental ethics and campaign disclosure agency, sent an advisory letter to all city and county attorneys in the State reminding them a new law regarding campaign contributions and recusals is in effect, regardless of a lawsuit aiming to rescind it.
The law, SB 1439, makes changes to Section 84308 of the Political Reform Act. It now applies to agencies whose members are directly elected by voters, including local elected officials such as city councilmembers and county supervisors serving on their respective boards, and those officials are prohibited from accepting, soliciting, or directing a contribution exceeding $250 from a party or participant for 12 months after the final decision of a proceeding.
The FPPC unanimously voted to support SB 1439, which was subsequently passed unanimously by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom, taking affect January 1st, 2023.
“We have a duty to interpret and enforce all aspects of the Political Reform Act, including the amendments made by SB 1439, unless and until directed otherwise by court order. We intend to do so, and that’s why we feel it’s important to remind everyone of their responsibilities, just as we are fulfilling ours.”
The FPPC letter reminds all city and county officials the law is in effect. The FPPC is taking public comment and is working on regulations to implement the new law unless a court signifies otherwise.
Eight business groups and two local elected officials filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court to overturn the law.
SB 1439 was supported by these groups:
California Clean Money Campaign, California Common Cause, California Environmental Voters, Citizens Take Action, Consumer Watchdog, Govern for California, Inland Empire United, League of Women Voters of California, Northern California Recycling Association, and the Fair Political Practices Commission.
A link to the full letter can be found here: FPPC Letter to City Attorneys & County Counsels