BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    SB 1349  


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          Date of Hearing:  June 29, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          SB 1349  
          (Hertzberg) - As Amended June 21, 2016


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill requires Secretary of State (SOS) to develop a new  
          online campaign filing and disclosure system. Specifically, this  
          bill:


          1)Requires the SOS, in consultation with the Fair Political  
            Practices Commission (FPPC), to develop an online filing and  
            disclosure system, as specified, for use by persons and  
            entities required to file statements and reports with the SOS  
            in accordance with Political Reform Act (PRA).  










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          2)Exempts this system development from various information  
            technology procurement requirements, and from project and  
            funding approvals, in order to implement this bill as  
            expeditiously as possible, but requires the SOS to consult  
            with the Department of Technology, as appropriate.


          3)Permits the SOS to accept any funds, services, equipment or  
            grants to further the provisions of this bill provided that  
            the SOS notifies the Assembly Committee on Elections and  
            Redistricting and the Senate Committee on Elections and  
            Constitutional Amendments upon accepting any amount valued at  
            $100,000 or more.


          4)Requires the SOS to:


             a)   Report to the Assembly Committee on Elections and  
               Redistricting and the Senate Committee on Elections and  
               Constitutional Amendments by December 31, 2017, with a plan  
               for the online filing and disclosure system.


             b)   Make the online filing and disclosure system available  
               for use no later than February 1, 2019, and allows this  
               deadline to be extended to no later than December 31, 2019,  
               after consultation with the Assembly Committee on Elections  
               and Redistricting and the Senate Committee on Elections and  
               Constitutional Amendments and after providing those  
               committees with a report explaining the need for the  
               extension and including a plan for completion.


             c)   Provide quarterly progress reports, as specified, on the  
               system development to the Joint Legislative Budget  
               Committee and the fiscal committees in each house.










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          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)The SOS will incur one-time costs of $11.6 million to develop,  
            test, and implement the new system and ongoing costs of $2.8  
            million related to operate and maintain the system, which will  
            be offset to some extent by savings from discontinued use of  
            the existing system and of paper filings. [General Fund and  
            PDATA Fund-see below]



          2)The FPPC will incur ongoing General Fund costs of $130,000 to  
            interface with the new system, and likely minor costs to  
            update forms, and modify regulations to reflect the new  
            system.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Background and Purpose. Cal-Access is a database and filing  
            system the SOS has used to make much of the lobbying and  
            campaign finance information available online at no cost to  
            users.  According to the SOS, the Cal-Access system is fueled  
            by a complex array of computer applications written in 14  
            different programming languages including hardware, firmware,  
            and software - some no longer supported by their vendor - that  
            are beyond their useful age.  As a result, the Cal-Access  
            system has denied public access, gone offline, and put strain  
            on SOS staff resources.  In November 2011, the Cal-Access  
            system went down, and the system was unavailable for most of  
            the month of December.  

            Although the system has remained online since the cause of the  
            failure was addressed, frequent concerns have been expressed  
            by users and other observers regarding the current state and  
            usefulness of Cal-Access.  In an effort to modernize the  
            Cal-Access system, this bill requires the SOS, in consultation  








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            with the FPPC, to develop and certify for public use a new  
            online filing and disclosure system for statements and reports  
            that provide public disclosure of campaign finance and  
            lobbying information in a user-friendly, easily understandable  
            format.


          2)Funding. SB 1001 (Yee), Chapter 506, Statutes of 2012, imposed  
            a $50 annual fee on specified committees that are required to  
            file disclosure reports pursuant to the PRA and increased the  
            fee on lobbying firms and lobbyist employers from $25 to $50  
            per year per lobbyist.  SB 1001 also stipulated that revenues  
            from these fees would be deposited into a newly-created  
            Political Disclosure, Accountability, Transparency, and Access  
            Fund (PDATA Fund) to update or replace Cal-Access. PDATA Fund  
            revenues are projected to total about $500,000 in 2016-17, and  
            the fund will have a balance of $2.2 million as of June 30,  
            2017.


            The Governor's May revision to the 2016-17 budget proposed  
            $757,000 from the PDATA Fund for Cal-Access. Additionally,  
            Budget Conference Committee and the Legislature adopted an  
            Assembly proposal to provide additional $1 million for  
            Cal-Access system replacement. According to the Secretary of  
            State these augmentations will allow the office to complete a  
            request-for-proposal for a new system.


          3)Prior Legislation. SB 1442 (Lara) of 2014, which in part  
            required the SOS to develop a new statewide Internet-based  
            system for the electronic filing and public display of all  
            records filed pursuant to the PRA, was vetoed.  In his veto  
            message, the Governor stated that before an additional  
            information technology project is authorized, the SOS should  
            complete the two other information technology projects that  
            were underway at the time.










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          Analysis Prepared by:Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081