The California legislature passed a new law this week that, if signed by the Governor, would impose campaign contribution limits on city and county elections in the state.  Under current law, cities and counties may adopt their own contribution limits, but most have not.  According to the legislature, this has led to a situation where some local candidates raise 40% or more of their funds from a single contributor.

The new law sets the default contribution limit for city and county offices at the same amount as the limit for contributions to state legislative races, currently $4,700 per election (the limit is adjusted for inflation in odd-numbered years).  However, cities and counties may adopt different limits from this default.  The limits in cities and counties that have already adopted separate limits will not change.

The law also changes some of the rules applicable to all state and local candidates related to accepting contributions after the election, and the limits on contributions to and totals raised for officeholder accounts.

If signed by the Governor, the changes take effect January 1, 2021.

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Photo of Andrew Garrahan Andrew Garrahan

Andrew Garrahan represents and counsels clients at the intersection of law and politics. He guides them through both regulatory compliance issues and government investigations on matters including state and federal campaign finance, ethics, lobbying, and corruption.

Mr. Garrahan’s prior career in political fundraising…

Andrew Garrahan represents and counsels clients at the intersection of law and politics. He guides them through both regulatory compliance issues and government investigations on matters including state and federal campaign finance, ethics, lobbying, and corruption.

Mr. Garrahan’s prior career in political fundraising gives him a unique perspective on the challenges faced by his clients, which include corporations, candidates, government officials, political and nonprofit organizations, and private individuals.

Mr. Garrahan is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia bars.