Amended in Assembly August 8, 2016

Amended in Senate April 26, 2016

Senate BillNo. 816


Introduced by Senator Hill

January 4, 2016


An actbegin delete to amend Section 15626 of the Government Code,end delete relating to the State Board of Equalization.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 816, as amended, Hill. State Board of Equalization: members:begin delete contributions.end deletebegin insert contributions: report.end insert

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 the 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 contributionsbegin insert within the preceding 12 monthsend insert in an aggregate amount of $250 or more from a partybegin delete to the proceeding,end deletebegin insert or his or her agent,end insert or from a participantbegin delete in the proceedingend deletebegin insert or his or her agent, andend insert the member knows or has reason to knowbegin insert that the participantend insert 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.

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This bill would reduce the $250 contribution limitation to $100, applying the above-described disclosure and disqualification provisions if a board member receives a contribution in the amount of $100, or more from a party, agent, or participant, as provided.

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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.

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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.

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

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This bill would require the board, on or before January 1, 2018, to prepare a report analyzing the impact on the board and those making contributions to the board of lowering the monetary threshold that triggers the requirements of the Quentin L. Kopp Conflict of Interest Act of 1990 from $250 to $100.

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Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: begin deleteyes end deletebegin insertnoend insert.

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

P2    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

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begin insertOn or before January 1, 2018, the State Board
2of Equalization shall prepare a report analyzing the impact on the
3board and those making contributions to the board of lowering
4the monetary threshold that triggers the requirements of the
5Quentin L. Kopp Conflict of Interest Act of 1990 (Section 15626
6of the Government Code) from two hundred and fifty dollars ($250)
7to one hundred dollars ($100).end insert

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8

SECTION 1.  

Section 15626 of the Government Code is
9amended to read:

10

15626.  

(a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as
11the Quentin L. Kopp Conflict of Interest Act of 1990.

12(b) Prior to rendering any decision in any adjudicatory
13proceeding pending before the State Board of Equalization, each
14member who knows or has reason to know that he or she received
P3    1a contribution or contributions within the preceding 12 months in
2an aggregate amount of one hundred dollars ($100) or more from
3a party or his or her agent, or from any participant or his or her
4agent, shall disclose that fact on the record of the proceeding.

5(c) A member shall not make, participate in making, or in any
6way attempt to use his or her official position to influence, the
7decision in any adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board
8if the member knows or has reason to know that he or she received
9a contribution or contributions in an aggregate amount of one
10hundred dollars ($100) or more within the preceding 12 months
11from a party or his or her agent, or from any participant or his or
12her agent, and if the member knows or has reason to know that the
13participant has a financial interest in the decision, as that term is
14used in Article 1 (commencing with Section 87100) of Chapter 7
15of Title 9.

16(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), if a member receives a
17contribution which would otherwise require disqualification under
18subdivision (c), and he or she returns the contribution within 30
19days from the time he or she knows, or has reason to know, about
20the contribution and the adjudicatory proceeding pending before
21the board, his or her participation in the proceeding shall be deemed
22lawful.

23(e) A party to, or a participant in, an adjudicatory proceeding
24pending before the board shall disclose on the record of the
25proceeding any contribution or contributions in an aggregate
26amount of one hundred dollars ($100) or more made within the
27preceding 12 months by the party or participant, or his or her agent,
28to any member of the board.

29(f) When a close corporation is a party to, or a participant in,
30an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board, the majority
31shareholder is subject to the disclosure requirement specified in
32this section.

33(g) For purposes of this section, if a deputy to the Controller
34sits at a meeting of the board and votes on behalf of the Controller,
35the deputy shall disclose contributions made to the Controller and
36shall disqualify himself or herself from voting pursuant to the
37requirements of this section.

38(h) For purposes of this section:

39(1) “Contribution” has the same meaning prescribed in Section
4082015 and the regulations adopted pursuant to that section.

P4    1(2) “Party” means any person who is the subject of an
2adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board.

3(3) “Participant” means any person who is not a party but who
4actively supports or opposes a particular decision in an adjudicatory
5proceeding pending before the board and who has a financial
6interest in the decision, as described in Article 1 (commencing
7with Section 87100) of Chapter 7 of Title 9. A person actively
8supports or opposes a particular decision if he or she lobbies in
9person the members or employees of the board, testifies in person
10before the board, or otherwise acts to influence the members of
11the board.

12(4) “Agent” means any person who represents a party to or
13participant in an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board.
14If a person acting as an agent is also acting as an employee or
15member of a law, accounting, consulting, or other firm, or a similar
16entity or corporation, both the entity or corporation and the person
17are agents.

18(5) “Adjudicatory proceeding pending before the board” means
19a matter for adjudication that has been scheduled and appears as
20an item on a meeting notice of the board as required by Section
2111125 as a contested matter for administrative hearing before the
22board members. A consent calendar matter is not included unless
23the matter has previously appeared on the calendar as a nonconsent
24item, or has been removed from the consent calendar for separate
25discussion and vote, or the item is one about which the member
26has previously contacted the staff or a party.

27(6) A member knows or has reason to know about a contribution
28if, after the adjudicatory proceeding first appears on a meeting
29notice of the board, facts have been brought to the member’s
30personal attention that he or she has received a contribution which
31would require disqualification under subdivision (c), or that the
32member received written notice from the board staff, before
33commencement of the hearing and before any subsequent decision
34on the matter, that a specific party, close corporation, or majority
35shareholder, or agent thereof, or any participant having a financial
36interest in the matter, or agent thereof, in a specific, named
37adjudicatory proceeding before the board, made a contribution or
38contributions within the preceding 12 months in an aggregate
39amount of one hundred dollars ($100) or more. Each member shall
P5    1provide board staff with a copy of each of his or her campaign
2statements at the time each of those statements is filed.

3The notice of contribution shall be on a form prescribed under
4rules adopted by the board to provide for staff inquiry of each
5party, participant, close corporation, and its majority shareholder,
6and any agent thereof, to determine whether any contribution has
7been made to a member, and if so, in what aggregate amount and
8on what date or dates within the 12 months preceding an
9adjudicatory proceeding or decision.

10In addition, the staff shall inquire and report on the record as
11follows:

12(A) Whether any party or participant is a close corporation, and
13if so, the name of its majority shareholder.

14(B) Whether any agent is an employee or member of any law,
15accounting, consulting, or other firm, or similar entity or
16corporation, and if so, its name and address and whether a
17contribution has been made by any such person, firm, corporation,
18or entity.

19(i) (1) Any person who knowingly or willfully violates any
20provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

21(2) No person convicted of a misdemeanor under this section
22shall be a candidate for any elective office or act as a lobbyist for
23a period for four years following the time for filing a notice of
24appeal has expired, or all possibility of direct attack in the courts
25of this state has been finally exhausted, unless the court at the time
26of sentencing specifically determines that this provision shall not
27be applicable. A plea of nolo contendere shall be deemed a
28conviction for the purposes of this section.

29(3) In addition to other penalties provided by law, a fine of up
30to the greater of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or three times the
31amount the person failed to disclose or report properly, may be
32imposed upon conviction for each violation.

33(4) Prosecution for violation of this section shall be commenced
34within four years after the date on which the violation occurred.

35(5) This section shall not prevent any member of the board from
36making, or participating in making, a governmental decision to
37the extent that the member’s participation is legally required for
38the action or decision to be made. However, the fact that a
39member’s vote is needed to break a tie does not make the member’s
40participation legally required.

P6    1

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
2Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
3the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
4district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
5infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
6for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
7the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
8the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
9Constitution.

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