Legal Resources | | GC 89506
Political Reform; Ethics; Travel
(a) Payments, advances, or reimbursements for travel, including actual transportation and related lodging and subsistence that is reasonably related to a legislative or governmental purpose, or to an issue of state, national, or international public policy, are not prohibited or limited by this chapter if either of the following applies:
(1) The travel is in connection with a speech given by the elected state officer, local elected officeholder, candidate for elective state office or local elective office, an individual specified in Section 87200, member of a state board or commission, or designated employee of a state or local government agency, the lodging and subsistence expenses are limited to the day immediately preceding, the day of, and the day immediately following the speech, and the travel is within the United States.
(2) The travel is provided by a government, a governmental agency, a foreign government, a governmental authority, a bona fide public or private educational institution, as defined in Section 203 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or by a person domiciled outside the United States who substantially satisfies the requirements for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(b) Gifts of travel not described in subdivision (a) are subject to the limits in Section 89503.
(c) Subdivision (a) applies only to travel that is reported on the recipient's statement of economic interests.
(d) For purposes of this section, a gift of travel does not include any of the following:
(1) Travel that is paid for from campaign funds, as permitted by Article 4 (commencing with Section 89510), or that is a contribution.
(2) Travel that is provided by the agency of a local elected officeholder, an elected state officer, member of a state board or commission, an individual specified in Section 87200, or a designated employee.
(3) Travel that is reasonably necessary in connection with a bona fide business, trade, or profession and that satisfies the criteria for federal income tax deduction for business expenses in Sections 162 and 274 of the Internal Revenue Code, unless the sole or predominant activity of the business, trade, or profession is making speeches.
(4) Travel that is excluded from the definition of a gift by any other provision of this title.
(e) This section does not apply to payments, advances, or reimbursements for travel and related lodging and subsistence permitted or limited by Section 170.9 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(f) (1) A nonprofit organization that regularly organizes and hosts travel for elected officials and that makes payments, advances, or reimbursements that total more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in a calendar year, or that total more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) in a calendar year for a single person, for travel by an elected state officer or local elected officeholder as described in subdivision (a) shall disclose to the Commission the names of donors who did both of the following in the preceding year:
(A) Donated one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more to the nonprofit organization.
(B) Accompanied an elected state officer or local elected officeholder, either personally or through an agent, employee, or representative, for any portion of travel described in subdivision (a).
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, an organization "regularly organizes and hosts travel for elected officials" if the sum of the organization's expenses that relate to any of the following types of activities with regard to elected officials was greater than one-third of its total expenses reflected on the organization's Internal Revenue Service Form 990, or the equivalent, filed most recently within the last 12 months:
(B) Study tours.
(C) Conferences, conventions, and meetings.
(3) This subdivision does not preclude a finding that a nonprofit organization is acting as an intermediary or agent of the donor. If the nonprofit organization is acting as an intermediary or agent of the donor, all of the following apply:
(A) The donor to the nonprofit organization is the source of the gift.
(B) The donor shall be identified as a financial interest under Section 87103.
(C) The gift shall be reported as required by Section 87207.
(D) The gift shall be subject to the limitations on gifts specified in Section 89503.
(4) For purposes of this subdivision, a nonprofit organization includes an organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) or Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 757, Sec. 2.)