By Ed Coghlan.
An ambitious effort to streamline and simplify California’s Political Reform Act is underway. The Fair Political Practices Commission is partnering with California Forward and the University of California to bring the venerable 42-year old law up to date.
The James Irvine Foundation has provided support for the process, which will involve several months of work and result in legislation introduced in the 2017.
Students from UC Berkeley and UC Davis law school began to review the law early in 2016, under the direction of David Carrillo, Executive Director of the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law.
Carrillo said that simplifying and organizing the landmark law that regulates campaign finance and government ethics will make it more accessible and understandable to the elected officials, political candidates and public officials it impacts.
“The law should be accessible. Anyone should be able to participate in political process,” Carrillo said. “We found lots of legal speak. We wrote things to improve them but not to change the substance of them.”
The project was designed to make sure updating the law will be inclusive and transparent. California Forward’s goal in the project is to drive public engagement and encourage participation.
CA Fwd CEO Jim Mayer, interviewed in the above video, pointed out that getting stakeholders and the public engaged in the effort is key to its success: “Now it’s time for the public to contribute by participating.”
The FPPC has been reviewing a new draft and will post it for public comment around August 1.
To find out more about the project, sign up for updates and submit public comment, visit cafwd.org/pra.