You NEED NOT REPORT…

  • What you spend for internal communications to your employees, stockholders and their families about your support of or opposition to state ballot measures.
  • The cost for an employee who spends less than 10 percent of his/her paid time per month (the equivalent of one day every two weeks) on the company’s political communications program, including communications relating to proposed state legislation, regulations and ballot measures.
  • What you spend for communications about proposed state legislation/regulations, if you are not a California lobbyist employer, and you spend less than $5,000 in a calendar quarter to communicate with your employees or stockholders about your company’s support for or opposition to state legislation or regulation (legislative and regulatory advocacy or “lobbying”) or to make other lobbying expenditures. (This
    does not include ballot measure expenditures.)

You MUST REPORT…

Any communications to external audiences about the company’s positions on state ballot measures. These expenses must be reported as either an “in-kind” contribution or an independent expenditure.

  • External audiences are those outside of employees, stockholders and their families. For example:
    • non-stockholder retirees
    • outside vendors
    • customers
    • passersby
  • Examples of communications that speak to external audiences:
    • window signs
    • billboards

If the cumulative total of your political contributions (monetary and nonmonetary combined) is $10,000 or more in a calendar year.

  • The $10,000 threshold is the combined total of your monetary/nonmonetary
    contributions to:

    • state ballot measures
    • local ballot measures
    • candidates
    • political action committees (PACs)
    • political parties

(The report is FPPC Form 461 for “Major Donors.”)

Note: There is no campaign contribution limit for monetary and non-monetary contributions to ballot measure committees. The contribution is simply subject to reporting, as outlined above.

 

Expense of communications about proposed state legislation/regulations.

  • If you are a “state lobbyist employer” OR
  • You spend $5,000 or more in a calendar quarter to communicate with your employees or stockholders about your company’s support for or opposition to state legislation or regulation (legislative and regulatory advocacy or “lobbying”) or to make other lobbying expenditures. (This does not include ballot measure expenditures.)

Note: Non-lobbyist employers that spend $5,000 or more in a quarter must file a simple Form 645 for that quarter, available from the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

This covers expenses such as:

  • the costs of a mailing (for example, printing and postage)
  • a telephone bank
  • the salaries of employees who spend 10 percent or more of their compensated time per month (that is, one full day every two weeks) working on the lobby components of your political communications program.

Content courtesy of CalChamber.