Senate BillNo. 816


Introduced by Senator Hill

January 4, 2016


An act to amend Section 15626 of the Government Code, relating to the State Board of Equalization.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 816, as introduced, Hill. State Board of Equalization: members: contributions.

The Quentin L. Kopp Conflict of Interest Act of 1990 requires a member of the State Board of Equalization who has received a contribution or contributions within the preceding 12 months in an aggregate amount of $250 or more from a party or his or her agent, or from any participant or his or her agent, to, prior to rendering any decision in any adjudicatory proceeding pending before board, disclose that fact on the record of the proceeding. A member is prohibited from making, participating in making, or in any way attempting to use his or her official position to influence, the decision in an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board if the member knows or has reason to know that he or she received a contribution or contributions in an aggregate amount of $250 or more from a party to the proceeding, or from a participant in the proceeding the member knows or has reason to know has a financial interest in the decision. The act also requires a party to, or a participant in, an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board to disclose on the record of the proceeding any contribution or contributions in an aggregate amount of $250 or more made within the preceding 12 months by the party or participant, or his or her agent, to any member of the board. A person who knowingly or willfully violates any provision of the act is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This bill would delete the $250 limitation and instead apply the above-described disclosure and disqualification provisions if a board member receives any contribution from a party, agent, or participant, as provided.

By extending the application of the criminal sanctions of the Quentin L. Kopp Conflict of Interest Act of 1990, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

Section 15626 of the Government Code is
2amended to read:

3

15626.  

(a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as
4the Quentin L. Kopp Conflict of Interest Act of 1990.

5(b) Prior to rendering any decision in any adjudicatory
6proceeding pending before the State Board of Equalization, each
7member who knows or has reason to know that he or she received
8a contribution or contributions within the preceding 12 monthsbegin delete in
9an aggregate amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or moreend delete

10 from a party or his or her agent, or from any participant or his or
11her agent, shall disclose that fact on the record of the proceeding.

12(c) begin deleteNo end deletebegin insertA end insertmember shallbegin insert notend insert make, participate in making, or in
13any way attempt to use his or her official position to influence, the
14decision in any adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board
15if the member knows or has reason to know that he or she received
16a contribution or contributionsbegin delete in an aggregate amount of two
17hundred fifty dollars ($250) or moreend delete
within the preceding 12
18months from a party or his or her agent, or from any participant
19or his or her agent, and if the member knows or has reason to know
20that the participant has a financial interest in the decision, as that
21term is used in Article 1 (commencing with Section 87100) of
22Chapter 7 of Title 9.

P3    1(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), if a member receives a
2contribution which would otherwise require disqualification under
3subdivision (c), and he or she returns the contribution within 30
4days from the time he or she knows, or has reason to know, about
5the contribution and the adjudicatory proceeding pending before
6the board, his or her participation in the proceeding shall be deemed
7lawful.

8(e) A party to, or a participant in, an adjudicatory proceeding
9pending before the board shall disclose on the record of the
10proceeding any contribution or contributionsbegin delete in an aggregate
11amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or moreend delete
made within
12the preceding 12 months by the party or participant, or his or her
13agent, to any member of the board.

14(f) When a close corporation is a party to, or a participant in,
15an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board, the majority
16shareholder is subject to the disclosure requirement specified in
17this section.

18(g) For purposes of this section, if a deputy to the Controller
19sits at a meeting of the board and votes on behalf of the Controller,
20the deputy shall disclose contributions made to the Controller and
21shall disqualify himself or herself from voting pursuant to the
22requirements of this section.

23(h) For purposes of this section:

24(1) “Contribution” has the same meaning prescribed in Section
2582015 and the regulations adoptedbegin delete thereto.end deletebegin insert pursuant to that section.end insert

26(2) “Party” means any person who is the subject of an
27adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board.

28(3) “Participant” means any person who is not a party but who
29actively supports or opposes a particular decision in an adjudicatory
30proceeding pending before the board and who has a financial
31interest in the decision, as described in Article 1 (commencing
32with Section 87100) of Chapter 7 of Title 9. A person actively
33supports or opposes a particular decision if he or she lobbies in
34person the members or employees of the board, testifies in person
35before the board, or otherwise acts to influence the members of
36the board.

37(4) “Agent” means any person who represents a party to or
38participant in an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board.
39If a person acting as an agent is also acting as an employee or
40member of a law, accounting, consulting, or other firm, or a similar
P4    1entity or corporation, both the entity or corporation and the person
2are agents.

3(5) “Adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board” means
4a matter for adjudication that has been scheduled and appears as
5an item on a meeting notice of the board as required by Section
611125 as a contested matter for administrative hearing before the
7board members. A consent calendar matter is not included unless
8the matter has previously appeared on the calendar as a nonconsent
9item, or has been removed from the consent calendar for separate
10discussion and vote, or the item is one about which the member
11has previously contacted the staff or a party.

12(6) A member knows or has reason to know about a contribution
13if, after the adjudicatory proceeding first appears on a meeting
14notice of the board, facts have been brought to the member’s
15personal attention that he or she has received a contribution which
16would require disqualification under subdivision (c), or that the
17member received written notice from the board staff, before
18commencement of the hearing and before any subsequent decision
19on the matter, that a specific party, close corporation, or majority
20shareholder, or agent thereof, or any participant having a financial
21interest in the matter, or agent thereof, in a specific, named
22adjudicatory proceeding before the board, made a contribution or
23contributions within the preceding 12begin delete months in an aggregate
24amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more.end delete
begin insert months.end insert Each
25member shall provide board staff with a copy of each of his or her
26campaign statements at the time each of those statements is filed.

27The notice of contribution shall be on a form prescribed under
28rules adopted by the board to provide for staff inquiry of each
29party, participant, close corporation, and its majority shareholder,
30and any agent thereof, to determine whether any contribution has
31been made to a member, and if so, in what aggregate amount and
32on what date or dates within the 12 months preceding an
33adjudicatory proceeding or decision.

34In addition, the staff shall inquire and report on the record as
35follows:

36(A) Whether any party or participant is a close corporation, and
37if so, the name of its majority shareholder.

38(B) Whether any agent is an employee or member of any law,
39accounting, consulting or other firm, or similar entity or
40corporation, and if so, its name and address and whether a
P5    1contribution has been made by any such person, firm, corporation,
2or entity.

3(i) (1) Any person who knowingly or willfully violates any
4provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

5(2) No person convicted of a misdemeanor under this section
6shall be a candidate for any elective office or act as a lobbyist for
7a period for four years following the time for filing a notice of
8appeal has expired, or all possibility of direct attack in the courts
9of this state has been finally exhausted, unless the court at the time
10of sentencing specifically determines that this provision shall not
11be applicable. A plea of nolo contendere shall be deemed a
12conviction for the purposes of this section.

13(3) In addition to other penalties provided by law, a fine of up
14to the greater of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or three times the
15amount the person failed to disclose or report properly, may be
16imposed upon conviction for each violation.

17(4) Prosecution for violation of this section shall be commenced
18within four years after the date on which the violation occurred.

19(5) This section shall not prevent any member of the board from
20making, or participating in making, a governmental decision to
21the extent that the member’s participation is legally required for
22the action or decision to be made. However, the fact that a
23member’s vote is needed to break a tie does not make the member’s
24participation legally required.

25

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
26Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
27the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
28district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
29infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
30for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
31the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
32the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
33Constitution.



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