Dr. Pan’s Bill Allowing Sacramento to Contract with State’s Campaign and Government Watchdog Passes Committee

Senate Bill 267 will offer Sacramento City Government Cost-Effective Oversight

July 12, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 267 to allow the City of Sacramento to contract with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to investigate and enforce the City’s campaign finance ordinance passed the Assembly Local Government Committee today on a vote of 7 to 0. The measure is authored by Dr. Richard Pan and principal co-authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty.

“A strong democracy requires transparency and earned trust in government by our citizens,” said Dr. Richard Pan, a pediatrician and Senator representing the Sacramento region. “I am pleased to work with Mayor Steinberg and City of Sacramento leaders on legislation to implement the city’s new ethics ordinance.”

“Thank you to Dr. Pan and Assemblymember McCarty for championing this important ethics & oversight legislation. It will help the City of Sacramento and our council more efficiently and effectively hold ourselves accountable,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Contracting with the FPPC will achieve robust enforcement and compliance for what would likely be a fraction of the cost of investigating and enforcing campaign finance laws at the city level.”

“We must do all we can to ensure that our government is operating at the highest ethical level.” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento), principal coauthor of the measure. “As a former Member of the Sacramento City Council, I worked closely to bring ethics reform to City Hall. This legislation by Senator Pan and myself will bring needed ethics oversight to Sacramento City Hall.”

SB 267 permits the City of Sacramento and the FPPC to enter into an agreement requiring the FPPC to investigate possible violations of the city’s campaign finance ordinance and bring administrative actions against candidates who violate the ordinance. The FPPC was created through the Political Reform Act of 1974, and provides impartial and independent enforcement of the Act. 

In January, the City of Sacramento approved a package of ethics reforms that will update the city’s campaign finance ordinance, as well as create a new ethics commission and a code-of-ethics ordinance. Enforcing such a robust campaign finance ordinance at the City level would be costly.  By contracting with the FPPC, the City will ensure a much more transparent and open election process at a lower cost to taxpayers.

Two other local jurisdictions have authorized similar agreements with the FPPC through legislation: the County of San Bernardino and the City of Stockton.