California Proposition 9, Creation of the Fair Political Practices Commission (June 1974)

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California Proposition 9, also known as the Political Reform Act of 1974, was on the 1974 ballot in California, as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.

Proposition 9 established the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

Election results

Proposition 9
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 3,224,765 69.8%
No1,392,78330.2%

Aftermath

Lobbyists

Proposition 9 says that lobbyists can spend no more than $10 a month entertaining an individual member of the California State Legislature.[1]

Form 700

One impact of Proposition 9 is that all elected officeholders (state and local) must submit a Statement of Economic Interests every year. This statement is known as "Form 700." Form 700 requires the disclosure of income, assets, and gifts that could be affected by official actions. It must be filed when an elected official assumes office, once a year thereafter, and when the person leaves office.

Mary Hayashi proposed AB 1509 in 2012. AB 1509 would require all cities and counties in the state to include a website notice that tells people where they can obtain electronic copies of the Form 700s of the elected officials of the relevant city or county.[2]

All Form 700 disclosures, for state and local elected officials, are included on the website of the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Under the Hayashi bill, the fact that the Form 700s are located there would be indicated on every city and county website, along with a link to the part of the FPPC where copies of the filed forms are located.

Impact

In a January 27, 2011 ruling in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen, the California Third District Court of Appeal said that when the California State Legislature took it upon itself to dictate what the ballot language for 2008's Proposition 1A should be, it violated the provisions of 1974's Proposition 9.[3]

"...to the extent it specified the ballot label, title and summary to be used, the bill negated the Political Reform Act's requirement that the official summary of the bill be prepared by the Attorney General in addition to the ballot label and title that are prepared by the Attorney General. As we will explain, this ad hoc amendment of the Political Reform Act did not further the purposes of the Act and was not approved by the voters. Thus, it was invalid. Simply stated, the Legislature cannot dictate the ballot label, title and official summary for a statewide measure unless the Legislature obtains approval of the electorate to do so prior to placement of the measure on the ballot."

The decision, written by Arthur Scotland, with Harry Hull and George Nicholson concurring, ends a practice that the California State Legislature started as far back as 1990 of dictating the ballot language for its referred statewide propositions, and prohibiting the state's attorney general from taking a role.[4]

Ballot text

Summary

The summary of the ballot measure prepared by the California Attorney General said:

"Requires reports of receipts and expenditures in campaigns for state and local offices and ballot measures. Limits expenditures for statewide candidates and measures. Prohibits public officials from participating in governmental decisions affecting their "financial interests." Requires disclosure of certain assets and income by certain public officials. Requires "Lobbyists" to register and file reports showing receipts and expenditures in lobbying activities. Creates fair political practices commission. Revises ballot pamphlet requirements. Provides criminal and civil sanctions for violations. Enacts and repeals statutes on other miscellaneous and above matters.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 9. That estimate was:

"Adoption of this measure will increase state and local costs up to $500,000 for the 1974-75 fiscal year and from $1,360,000 to $3,210,000 for each subsequent fiscal year."

See also

External links

References