The Blog at CTA

Well-intentioned Political “Reform” Bill Would Undercut Our Voices

In the last days of the legislative session, lawmakers in the Assembly are poised to take up a CTA- and labor-opposed bill that could undermine the ability of organizations like teacher unions to speak out in the political arena for public education, students, and our members.


SB 52, by Sen Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), seeks to increase the transparency of those underwriting political advertising, but it will have the effect of weakening the voices of union members when they try to win more funding for schools or defeat anti-union measures at the ballot box.


SB 52 would repeal existing laws requiring the disclosure of the top two funding sources of $50,000 or more on advertisements supporting and opposing ballot measures.


While we always support transparency and full disclosures and disclaimers in campaigns, SB 52 lacks clarity in its definition by requiring the disclosure of “identifiable contributors” on ballot measure political advertising and leaves it up to Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regulations that do not exist.

Adoption of this measure could have a detrimental impact on the voices of educator and labor organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members as we communicate on ballot issues impacting education, health and safety of state residents, including children, and more.


Under the guise of expanding contribution disclosures, the bill would interfere with provisions of two recently approved bills -- SB 27 (Correa) and AB 800 (Gordon) -- that address weaknesses in current reporting law.


Find out how you can help defeat the measure via the Contact Your Lawmaker link.

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