Senator Mendoza Introduces Bill to Strengthen California’s Political Reform Act

June 23, 2016

Sacramento – A bill that strengthens California’s Political Reform Act was introduced today by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia).

“Elected officials should not use taxpayer money to send mass mailers when running for office,” said Senator Tony Mendoza. “Their status as an elected official should not give them an advantage over their opponents who may not have access to public resources.”

SB 45 will prevent a city, county or special district elected official whose name appears on the ballot from using taxpayer money to send a mass mailing ninety-days preceding an election. Because the bill amends the Political Reform Act, it requires a two-thirds vote by the Legislature. The Political Reform Act (PRA) was approved by California voters in 1974. 

“SB 45 sends a strong message that government officials should not use their positions to unfairly influence the democratic process,” said Senator Tony Mendoza.

“In the aftermath of scandals during the past several years, it is time for California to strengthen the Political Reform Act. We need to restore accountability and the public’s trust in government,” added Senator Mendoza.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is responsible for administering and enforcing the Political Reform Act. The PRA, among other things, prohibits a public officer or candidate from using taxpayer money for the purpose of seeking elective office, including sending mass mailings of more than 200 substantially similar pieces. SB 45 would expand the act to prohibit any mass mailing at taxpayer expense ninety days preceding an election.

An alleged violation of the law would be investigated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), a local district attorney or the California Attorney General and could result in civil and/or criminal penalties.

Senator Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles native and former elementary school teacher in East Los Angeles, represents the 32nd Senate District encompassing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. For more information about Senator Mendoza visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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