More Information on Expansion of California’s Pay-to-Play Law

January 2023

As reported in the November 2022 issue of Election Law News, California expanded its state pay-to-play law effective January 1, 2023. Contributions to local elected officials are now covered by the special pay-to-play contribution limit even when the elected official is acting as part of a local government body that is made up entirely of elected officials – such as city councils, county boards of supervisors, and school boards. Previously, contributions to such local officials acting in these capacities were exempt – e.g., a no-bid contract coming in front of a city council was not subject to the pay-to-play rules. Moreover, the pay-to-pay limits now apply for 12 months after the contract, license, entitlement for use, or other covered decision is rendered, an increase from the previous three months. Although statutory changes became effective on January 1, 2023, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has ruled that the restrictions do not apply to contributions made before the effective date or to proceedings occurring before that time, see FPPC, Op. No. O-22-002 (Dec. 22, 2022), available here.

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