BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2101
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 28, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                     AB 2101 (Fong) - As Amended:  April 15, 2010

          Policy Committee:                              ElectionsVote:   
          6-0
                        Judiciary                             10-0  
          (Consent)

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              

           SUMMARY  

          This bill authorizes a court to prevent someone convicted of  
          initiative fraud or voter registration fraud from being paid to  
          circulate petitions or register voters for up to five years  
          following a conviction.  The bill also:

          1)Provides that a person subject to such a court order may, upon  
            a showing of good cause, petition the court for  
            reconsideration of the order.

          2)Makes a violation of the court order subject to a civil  
            penalty of up to $25,000.

          FISCAL EFFECT  

          Potential minor costs to the court for reconsideration  
          proceedings and proceedings to assess civil penalties for  
          violations, offset to some extent by penalty revenues.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Background  .  Current law prohibits certain activities with  
            respect to registration of voters, such as registering a  
            fictitious person to vote, registering a person to vote under  
            a false name or address, and interfering with the return of a  
            completed affidavit of voter registration.  With respect to  
            the circulating initiative, referendum, or recall petitions,  
            examples of prohibited activities include misrepresenting the  
            contents, purport, or effect of the petition, refusing to  








                                                                  AB 2101
                                                                  Page  2

            allow a petition signer to read the petition, and offering or  
            giving money or other valuable consideration in exchange for a  
            person's signature on a petition.

           2)Purpose  .  The author argues that the above problems are all  
            too common because people who register voters or gather  
            signatures on petitions are often paid a "bounty" for each  
            person that they register or for each signature that they  
            gather, and thus have a financial incentive to mislead voters.  
             The author notes that previous efforts to limit the ability  
            to pay "bounties" for collecting signatures on petitions or  
            registering voters have failed due to concerns that such laws  
            may make it more difficult for grassroots organizations to  
            gather signatures on petitions and register voters.  The  
            governor made this argument last year in vetoing AB 34  
            (Corbett), which would have made it a misdemeanor to for a  
            person to receive a per-signature payment for initiative,  
            referendum, or recall petitions.


            AB 2101 takes a narrower approach by authorizing the court to  
            ban those individuals convicted of such fraud from being paid  
            to collect signatures on initiative petitions or for  
            registering voters for up to five years. This bill is  
            patterned after laws enacted in Arizona and Oregon in 2009.


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081