California has kicked off a project to streamline and simplify the state’s Political Reform Act, which governs regulates campaign finance and political ethics. The Fair Political Practices Commission is partnering with California Forward and the University of California to bring the venerable 42-year-old law up to date.
Last week, an introductory webinar was held to share the goals and timeline of the project. You can watch a high-quality playback of the webinar in the video above. The event featured Fair Political Practices Commission Chair Jodi Remke, CA Fwd President and CEO Jim Mayer, and David Carrillo, executive director of the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law.
One of the main tasks of the project is to simplify the Act by removing unnecessary “legalese” and redundant or dead sections that no longer apply.
“We’re not making substantive changes, but making substantial changes,” said Remke.
Students from UC Berkeley and UC Davis law school began to review the law early in 2016, under the direction of Carrillo. There will also be opportunity for the public to review the suggested changes and weigh in with their own ideas to improve the language.
“The law should be accessible. Anyone should be able to participate in political process,” Carrillo said. “We found lots of legal speak. We wrote things to improve them but not to change the substance of them.”
The FPPC is partnering with the University of California law schools and California Forward in this ambitious project that will result in proposed legislation in 2017.
CA Fwd CEO Jim Mayer pointed out that getting stakeholders and the public engaged in the effort is key to its success: “Now it’s time for the public to contribute by participating.”
The public engagement includes a number of elements including:
- The webinar that introduced the project to the public and stakeholder groups
- Two rounds of public comment
- Extensive public and stakeholder communications and outreach through both CA Fwd’s and FPPC’s websites, e-newsletters, blogs, press releases and presentations
To find out more about the project, sign up for updates and submit public comment, visit cafwd.org/pra.
Below, you can review and download the full PowerPoint file used in the webinar.
CA Fwd’s work on the Political Reform Act Revision Project is supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.