AB 990 Signed into Law

Assemblywoman Bonilla’s Bill Increasing Campaign Transparency Signed by Governor Brown

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Bonilla’s AB 990, which increases campaign transparency and voter access to information, was signed into law over the weekend by the Governor.   This bill, sponsored by the Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters, will make it easier for voters to identify whether campaign mail was paid for by an independent expenditure or a candidate themselves.

“With the signing of AB 990, voters can now effortlessly differentiate the messages from candidates and the messages from outside interest groups,” said Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord).  “Far too often, when voters receive mail regarding an election, they automatically and understandably assume that it is from a candidate or paid for by a candidate.  AB 990 addresses this problem and ensures that voters are accurately informed and understand who is responsible for the mail they are receiving.”

In the 2014 California state elections, nearly $32 million was spent by independent expenditures.  When outside spending reaches this volume, voters receive an overwhelming influx of campaign mail.  This leads to an exhausted voting population that dedicates less time to read the content and distinguish the varying messages between candidates and independent expenditures.  AB 990 helps voters easily identify who a message is coming from by requiring a more evident and clear disclosure statement on all independent expenditure advertisements.  Specifically, this bill requires that the disclosure statement be outlined in a bold box, located near the recipient’s name, and in a larger font than what is currently required.

“We’re pleased to see this added layer of disclosure to help our voters make more informed decisions as we move into what will be a busy election cycle,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa County’s Registrar of Voters. “This bill will assist all voters in distinguishing between information from the candidates and special interest groups.”

AB 990 is an urgency measure and is now reflected in current law.

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.