Good Government/Transparency Reform Bill Clears Legislature

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino at Sierra Madre Search and Rescue 60th Anniversary, News Net file photo

Press Release posted 8/24/12 – Assemblymember Anthony Portantino’s (D-La Cañada Flintridge) proposal to update and modernize financial reporting for politicians and public officials passed the Senate today. AB 2162 now goes to the Governor for signature.

Each year, politicians and public officials must file what is known as a Form 700 – Statement of Economic Interest.  It gives the public and watchdog groups a way to keep tabs on the outside financial interests of officeholders and other officials to ensure that they avoid conflicts of interest.

“These forms haven’t been updated in more than 35 years and are way out-of-date. It’s time to make sure the public, good government advocates and the media know where there are potential conflicts,” commented Portantino. “As it stands now, the broad financial ranges on the form make it impossible to have an accurate picture of what an officeholder’s financial obligations are.  I want to change that and bring more transparency to this important issue.”

AB 2162 adjusts the dollar ranges for investments and income used by some 200,000 public officials when they file the Form 700. Currently there are only 4 ranges for investments, property and income. This bill would revise the dollar amounts associated with these ranges to 8 levels for investments and real estate and 10 levels for income ranges.

The Political Reform Act of 1974 requires persons holding public offices to file disclosures of investments, real property interests, and income within specified periods of assuming or leaving office, and annually while holding the office. The act requires the disclosures to include a statement indicating, within a specified value range, the fair market value of investments or interests in real property and the aggregate value of income received from a source.