Effective January 1, 2023, SB 1439 imposes the existing limits on campaign contributions solicited or received in Government Code Section 84308 on local elected officers. Previously, the limits applied only to appointed officers. This notable expansion has drawn newfound attention to the scope of Section 84308’s definitions and restrictions.
In response to this renewed focus, at its June 15, 2023, meeting, the Fair Political Practices Commission (“FPPC”) adopted a series of amended regulations regarding Section 84308.
CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION RESTRICTIONS – SB 1439
Government Code Section 84308 now imposes two types of restrictions on local appointed and elected officers:
- Limitation on Solicitation of Campaign Contributions: Section 84308 prohibits these local officers from soliciting campaign contributions of more than $250––for any candidate or campaign––from persons involved in proceedings involving a license, permit, or entitlement for use, while those proceedings are pending and for 12 months afterward.
- Recusals Due to Past Solicitation of Campaign Contributions: Section 84308 also disqualifies these local officers from participating in certain decisions that involve persons who have contributed $250 or more directly to them within the past 12 months.
NEW FPPC REGULATIONS
Given the heightened focus on Section 84308, the FPPC amended its regulations to add further guidance regarding several of the statute’s rules and terms, including:
- which “officers” are subject to the statute’s restrictions;
- the types of “proceedings” that trigger Section 84308, especially with respect to contract-related proceedings;
- when a proceeding is “pending” before an officer;
- what level of “knowledge” an officer must have before the officer is subject to Section 84038’s restrictions; and
- when and how a contributor must disclose a campaign contribution to a local officer.
In addition to these new regulations, the FPPC will likely be issuing advice letters regarding Section 84308 in the coming weeks and months.
If you have any questions about the FPPC’s guidance or the new expanded campaign contribution rule, please contact your RPLG attorney or Andrew Shen.
RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies, nonprofit entities, individuals and private entities in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions. RPLG’s lawyers provide the tools to strengthen and preserve public services, empower policy makers to further their objectives and collaborate with in-house staff to identify workable solutions to complex problems, develop strategy and implement solutions.