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California Proposition 40, Campaign Contribution Limitations (1984)

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California Proposition 40 was on the November 6, 1984 statewide general election ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.

Proposition 40 would have imposed contribution limits, restricted specified expenditures, and provided matching public funds to candidates whose opponents use their personal funds in their election campaigns.

These changes would have applied to candidates for the California State Legislature, and candidates for Governor of California, and other statewide elected officials.

Election results

Proposition 40
Defeatedd No5,640,47364.5%
Yes 3,109,746 35.5%

Ballot summary

Proposition 40's official ballot summary said:

"Limits contributors and contributions to elective state office candidates. Limits contributions to individuals, political action committees, parties. Individuals' yearly contributions limited to $1,000 per candidate, $250 per party or political action committee, with $10,000 maximum to all candidates, political action committees and parties. Parties and political action committees' yearly contributions limited to $1,000 per candidate. Allows candidate expenditures only from designated account for legitimate campaign expenditures. Regulates independent expenditures, loans, and surplus contributions. Candidates may expend personal funds without limit. Provides limited public funding for candidates to match opposition candidates' personal expenditures. Summary of Legislative Analyst's estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact: It is estimated that this measure would reduce State General Fund revenues by approximately $100,000 each fiscal year, and increase State General Fund expenditures by approximately up to $1,650,000 each fiscal year."

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

"We estimate that this measure would reduce General Fund revenues by approximately $100,000 each fiscal year, and increase General Fund expenditures by approximately up to $1,650,000 each fiscal year.
Effect on Revenues. The measure provides for the transfer each year of approximately $100,000 in General Fund revenue from existing fines and penalties to the new fund created by the measure, beginning in fiscal year 1984-85. It is not possible to estimate the amount of revenue from new fines and penalties that would be deposited in the fund, because there is no way of knowing the number of violations which might occur and the amounts that would be assessed for each violation if this measure is approved by the voters.
The measure also provides that surplus campaign funds held by candidates who withdraw from seeking elective office shall revert to the fund. It is not possible to estimate the amount of revenue to the fund from such revenues because there is no way of knowing how many candidates will withdraw from election campaigns in the future.
Effect on Expenditures. Up to $1 million each fiscal year would be continuously appropriated from the General Fund to the new fund in the event that revenues from fines and penalties are not sufficient to meet all candidate claims for matching funds. It is not possible to estimate the amount of General Fund money that would be needed for this purpose.
Various state agencies would incur administrative costs in complying with the measure's provisions. These costs would be attributable to the requirements that the state accept specified candidate filings, post certain information, develop rules and regulations, enforce the criminal and civil provisions of the measure, administer the newly created fund, make payments of public funds to candidates, and prepare reports. We estimate that these costs would be approximately $325,000 in the last half of fiscal year 1984-85 and $650,000 annually thereafter. The administrative costs could be higher or lower than these amounts, depending on the level of regulatory and administrative activity that the various agencies choose to conduct.

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