FPPC to issue regulations further clarifying new financial interest law

Feb 22, 2023

The Fair Political Practices commission (FPPC) is considering new regulations that would remove uncertainty around a new financial interest law, SB 1439 (Glazer, Chaptered, 2022). SB 1439 expands Government Code Section 84308 — the Levine Act — to local elected officials. The new law requires local elected officials to abstain from participating in certain decisions related to campaign contributions.

SB 1439’s ambiguous language has raised substantial questions from local elected officials seeking to comply with the Levine Act. In response to the League of California Cities and other stakeholders, the FPPC proposed regulations that clarify who the Levine Act applies to and when a local elected official must comply with the disqualification requirements.

The regulations are a good first step to resolving the law’s ambiguous text. However, several questions remain, including how local elected officials can comply with the Levine Act when they discover conflicts of interest during a public meeting.

In advance of the FPPC’s Feb. 16 meeting, Cal Cities submitted a comment letter highlighting amendments that would help local elected officials better comply with these new requirements. The FPPC indicated the next draft of the proposed regulations would incorporate many of the suggestions included in the Cal Cities comment letter.

Cal Cities will continue to advocate for more clarity by submitting additional comments during future phases of the rulemaking process and will keep city officials informed about the process. The next phases are expected to occur at the March 16 and April 20 FPPC meetings. City officials who wish to comment on the regulations can review the meeting agendas, which are typically posted one week before each meeting. Instructions on how to submit comments will be included on the agendas.

For more information about SB 1439, please contact Legislative Affairs Lobbyist Johnnie Pina