BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1399
                                                                  Page  1


          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 1399 (Anderson)
          As Amended  January 12, 2010
           Majority vote 

           LOCAL GOVERNMENT    5-0                                         
           
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          |Ayes:|Caballero, Knight,        |     |                          |
          |     |Arambula, Davis, Skinner  |     |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Prohibits a city or county official, whether elected  
          or appointed, from making available to an immediate family  
          member a publicly funded vehicle owned or operated by, or a  
          credit card issued by, the local agency that the local official  
          represents.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Prohibits a city or county official, elected or appointed,  
            from making available to an immediate family member a publicly  
            funded vehicle owned or operated by, or a credit card issued  
            by, the local agency that the official represents.

          2)Defines immediate family member to mean a child, in-law,  
            parent, sibling, or spouse of the local official.

          3)Does not apply to a local official if the legislative body of  
            the local agency that the local official represents has  
            adopted an ordinance, resolution, or other measure that  
            already prohibits this type of conduct.

           EXISTING LAW  :
           
           1)The California Constitution prohibits local governments from  
            making any gift of public money or thing of value to any  
            person.

          2)Requires a local agency that provides reimbursement for  
            expenses to members of its legislative body to adopt a written  
            policy on the duties for which legislative body members may  
            receive compensation other than meetings of the legislative  
            body or an advisory body or attendance at a conference or  
            organized educational activity.









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          3)Requires a local agency to adopt a written policy concerning  
            what occurrences qualify a member to receive reimbursement for  
            expenses for travel, meals, lodging.

          4)Requires a member of a legislative body who has been  
            reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses by his or her  
            local agency to file expense reports.  These expense reports  
            are public records.

          5)Imposes penalties for misuse of public resources or falsifying  
            expense reports in violation of expense reporting policies.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  None

           COMMENTS  :  The California Constitution already prohibits local  
          governments, which includes elected county officials, from  
          making any gift of public money or thing of value to any person.

          The author states the reason for this bill is the public expects  
          elected officials to hold themselves to the highest ethical  
          standards and maintain transparency and accountability in  
          government.  According to the author, honest officials are  
          tarnished by those who use their office to enrich themselves or  
          their family members.  The author points directly to the case of  
          a Riverside County supervisor whose sister was paid $330,000 in  
          campaign money over the span of three years for political  
          consulting and professional services while she was volunteering  
          full-time for the county.  On top of the campaign money, the  
          supervisor's sister also received free use of a county car with  
          taxpayer-funded gasoline included.

          Even though the author states the use of the car by the  
          supervisor's sister was a gift of public funds, this situation  
          is not one in which public funds were improperly used because  
          the sister was volunteering for the county.  If the sister had  
          not been providing Riverside County with any sort of services,  
          then the use of the county-issued car would have been prohibited  
          under the California Constitution as a gift of public funds.

          As written, this bill takes the constitutional prohibition on  
          gifting public funds a step further.  This bill would prohibit a  
          city or county official, elected or appointed, from making  
          available to a child, in-law, parent, sibling, or spouse a  
          publicly funded vehicle owned or operated by, or a credit card  








                                                                  AB 1399
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          issued by, the local agency that the official represents.  Many  
          cities and counties already have policies prohibiting this type  
          of conduct, and this bill would ensure all cities and counties  
          are ethically on the same page.  Thus, this bill would not apply  
          to an official where the legislative body of his or her local  
          agency has adopted an ordinance, resolution, or other measure  
          that already prohibits this type of conduct.

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Jennifer R. Klein / L. GOV. / (916)  
          319-3958 

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