The Danville Town Council is scheduled to discuss the implications of a piece of new state legislature that went into effect last year, which changes regulations on campaign financing for local elections, in a special meeting Tuesday morning.
At their first meeting of 2022, council members are set to hear a presentation from City Attorney Rob Ewing and City Clerk Marie Sunseri on Assembly Bill 571. The bill mandates that state campaign contribution limits be applied to local elections by default, unless a local council votes instead to adopt an ordinance mandating no campaign contribution limits for council elections.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPCC) currently sets the campaign contribution limit for the state at $4,900 per election, making this the default contribution limit for local councils that don't approve campaign spending ordinances of their own.
Ahead of the next election, the council will need to decide whether to adopt the default campaign contribution limit from the FPCC, or to adopt an ordinance "stating there are no campaign contribution limits, in which case the provisions in AB 571 do not apply," according to the staff report.
If the provisions of AB 571 were to apply to the upcoming election, incumbents running for reelection would additionally be required to establish new committees and bank accounts for each election, rather than redesignating their previous committees.
Staff are seeking direction from the council on the preparation and introduction of a new ordinance that would set a contribution limit for local campaigns.