BILL NUMBER: AB 1676 INTRODUCED
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Fuentes
JANUARY 21, 2010
An act to add Section 1065 to the Government Code, relating to
elected officials, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL`S DIGEST
AB 1676, as introduced, Fuentes. Elected officials: residency
The California Constitution requires that a person reside for one
year within the legislative district for which he or she seeks
election as a Member of the Legislature. Various statutory provisions
impose residency requirements on other specified elected officials
This bill would require that a person elected to a state or local
public office maintain his or her place of residence within the
jurisdiction within which voters are qualified to vote for the office
during his or her term of office. The bill would require a person
who violates this provision to immediately forfeit his or her office
and would disqualify the person from holding any state or local
public office in the future. The bill would provide that these
provisions would apply retroactively to all persons holding state or
local public office at the time of the effective date of the bill.
Commencing with persons serving terms of office beginning on or after
November 2, 2010, the bill would also make a violation of the
residency requirement punishable by either a civil penalty not to
exceed $1,000 or a fine not to exceed $1,000, imprisonment in a
county jail for no more than 6 months, or by both fine and
imprisonment. The bill would authorize a district attorney, a county
counsel, or city attorney with enforcement authority to enforce a
violation of these provisions.
By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as
an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 1065 is added to the Government Code, to read:
1065. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person
elected to state or local public office must continue to maintain his
or her place of residence within the jurisdiction in which voters
are qualified to vote for the office during his or her term of
office. A person does not violate this subdivision if, after being
elected for a term of office, the boundaries of the jurisdiction in
which voters are qualified to vote for the office are changed during
that term of office.
(b) A person who violates subdivision (a) shall immediately
forfeit his or her office and is forever disqualified from holding
any state or local public office.
(c) A person who violates subdivision (a) is punishable by one of
(1) A civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(2) By imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or
by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both
that fine and imprisonment.
(d) A district attorney, county counsel, or city attorney shall
have the authority to seek enforcement of this section for a
(e) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall be applied retroactively to all
persons holding state or local public office at the time of the
effective date of the statute that added this section, except that
subdivision (c) shall apply only to persons serving terms of office
commencing on or after November 2, 2010.
SEC. 2. The provisions of this section are severable. If any
provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that
invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can
be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
SEC. 4. This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate
preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the
meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate
effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
Because existing law is unclear as to whether a public official
must reside in the jurisdiction in which voters are qualified to vote
for the office during his or her incumbency in the office, it is
necessary that this act take immediate effect.
Date of Hearing: April 6, 2010
ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ELECTIONS AND REDISTRICTING
Paul Fong, Chair
AB 1676 (Fuentes) - As Amended: March 24, 2010
SUBJECT : Elected officials: residency requirements. URGENCY.
SUMMARY : Prohibits an elected state or local official from
moving outside the jurisdiction that he or she represents during
his or her term of office. Specifically, this bill :
1)Requires a person who is elected to state or local public
office to continue to maintain his or her place of residence
within the jurisdiction in which voters are qualified to vote
for the office during his or her term of office. Provides
that a person does not violate this provision if, after being
elected for a term of office, the boundaries of the
jurisdiction in which voters are qualified to vote for the
office are changed during that term of office.
2)Provides that a person who violates the provisions of this
bill shall immediately forfeit his or her office and is
disqualified from holding any state or local public office for
a period of three years. Provides that this penalty shall
apply retroactively to all persons holding state or local
public office at the time of the effective date of this bill,
except for Members of the Legislature.
3)Provides that for any person serving a term of office
commencing on or after November 2, 2010 who violates the
provisions of this bill, that person also shall be subject to
a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment in a
county jail not exceeding six months, a fine not exceeding
$1,000, or by both the fine and imprisonment.
4)Gives any district attorney, county counsel, or city attorney
and the Attorney General (AG) the authority to enforce the
provisions of this bill.
5)Exempts judges from the provisions of this bill.
6)Contains a severability clause.
7)Contains an urgency clause.
EXISTING LAW :
1)Requires a person to be a registered voter and otherwise
qualified to vote for an office at the time that nomination
papers are issued in order to be eligible to be elected to
that office, unless otherwise specifically provided.
2)Requires a county supervisor, in any county where supervisors
are elected by district, to reside in the district from which
he or she was elected during his or her incumbency.
3)Requires a city councilmember, in any city where council
members are elected by districts or from districts, to reside
in the district from which he or she was elected during his or
4)Requires a member of a county board of education, in any
county where board members are elected by trustee area, to be
an elector of the trustee area during his or her term of
5)Permits a county charter or a city charter to provide for the
method of election of local elected officials and the
procedures for removal of local elected officials.
6)Provides that a local office for which local residence is
required by law becomes vacant if the official who holds that
office ceases to be an inhabitant of the district, county, or
city for which the officer was chosen or appointed.
FISCAL EFFECT : Unknown. State-mandated local program; contains
a crimes and infractions disclaimer.
1)Purpose of the Bill : According to the author:
Existing law requires that a person running for office
reside in the district that they aspire to represent for a
proscribed period of time in order to be qualified. The
law is unclear as to whether they must continue to reside
in the district after they are elected. This lack of
clarity is problematic for a number of reasons. First, the
people of a district have a right to be represented by
someone who lives in their district and understands the
unique needs and desires of the constituents. Further,
most constituents presume that they are being represented
by someone who lives in their district, and this belief is
logical given the requirement of residency in the district
to run for the seat. Finally, the public good is best
advanced when representatives are in touch with their
constituents. To allow elected officials to live in areas
potentially far removed from the district they were elected
to represent frustrates the goals of representative
2)Residency Requirements : Existing state law establishes a
variety of residency requirements for holding elective state
or local office, which vary depending on the office sought or
held. For most elective state and local offices, residency
requirements apply at the time a person is running for office,
either at the time a candidate takes out nomination papers or
for some specified period of time before the election. In
most cases, existing law also explicitly requires elected
officials to maintain their residency in a district or
jurisdiction once in office. For instance, existing state law
provides that when members are elected by district, rather
than at-large, county supervisors (Government Code Section
25041), city councilmembers (Government Code Section 34882),
and members of a county board of education (Education Code
Section 1000) must live in the district or trustee area that
they represent. In cases where members are elected at-large,
state law typically requires elected officials to live within
the jurisdiction which they represent.
In describing the purpose of this bill, the author argues that
existing law is unclear as to whether an elected official must
continue to reside in their district after they are elected.
As noted above, however, state law generally does require
local elected officials to continue to reside in the district
they were elected to represent during their term of office.
It appears that the issue that the author has identified is
not due to any ambiguity in state law, but is due to the fact
that the provisions of state law that require local elected
officials to reside in their districts do not apply to charter
cities and charter counties. For instance, the Los Angeles
City Charter does not explicitly require members of the city
council to continue to live in their districts during their
term of office. Section 407 (a) of the Los Angeles City
Charter requires only that a candidate for city council be a
resident of the council district from which he or she is
nominated or elected for at least 30 days prior to the first
day on which candidates can file a declaration of intention to
run for office.
If Los Angeles were a general law city, as opposed to a charter
city, state law would require the members of that body to
remain residents of their districts during their term in
office. It is only because Los Angeles is a charter city, and
because the city charter does not include such a requirement,
that a member of the Los Angeles city council is free to move
outside the district he or she was elected to represent during
that member`s term of office.
Additionally, due to the greater authority over local affairs
that is granted to charter cities and charter counties, it is
not clear whether the provisions of this bill would apply to
elected officials in charter cities and counties. The
California Constitution generally provides that legally
adopted charters supersede any laws that are inconsistent with
the provisions of the charter. Additionally, the Constitution
provides that county and city charters shall provide, among
other things, for the method of election of local elected
officials and for procedures for removal of such officials
from office. As such, it is unclear whether the provisions of
this bill would be applicable in charter cities and charter
counties, particularly in charter cities and counties that
have adopted local residency requirements and have chosen not
to require elected officials to maintain residency in their
districts during the entire term of office.
3)Retroactivity : Certain provisions of this bill -
specifically, the requirement that an elected official forfeit
office if he or she moves out of his or her district and the
three-year ban on holding office for such officials - apply
retroactively, except for members of the Legislature. These
provisions could be considered to be an impermissible ex post
facto law, in violation of Article I, Section 9 of the
California Constitution and of Article I, Section 9 of the
United States Constitution, as made applicable to the states
by the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Additionally, notwithstanding the determination of whether or
not the restriction on holding office would be considered an
impermissible ex post facto law, the committee may wish to
consider whether making the law applicable retroactively is
appropriate. Given the retroactive applicability of the
forfeiture of office and three year ban on holding public
office in this bill, an elected official who moved outside the
district that he or she represents could have his or her right
to hold office impaired even if there was no requirement that
the official continue to live in his or her district at the
time the official moved, or at the time the official was
elected to office. In order to give officials and voters the
ability to make fully informed decisions about whether to run
for office and about the most appropriate candidate to hold
office, it may be desirable to make the application of this
bill prospective only to terms of office where the election
occurs after the effective date of the bill.
4)Other Remedies : It could be argued that imposing criminal
penalties on an elected official for moving outside the
jurisdiction that he or she represents and imposing a
three-year ban on such officials serving in public office is
too severe a penalty when other remedies exist if voters are
unhappy with the actions of an elected official. As noted
above, existing law already establishes a procedure for a seat
to be declared vacant if a local official who holds an office
for which local residence is required by law ceases to be an
inhabitant of the district, county, or city for which the
officer was chosen. Additionally, to the extent that the
voters in a district are concerned about their representation
due to the fact that their representative has moved or may
have moved out of the district that he or she represents,
those voters have the power of the recall to remove that
person from office. This bill, however, could force a person
out of office even if his or her constituents approved
overwhelmingly of the job performance of the elected official,
and wanted that person to continue to represent them. If the
AG, a county counsel, a district attorney, or a city attorney
decided to pursue an action against an elected official for
moving out of the jurisdiction that he or she represents over
the objections of that official`s constituents, those
constituents could be denied representation until such time
that the seat could be filled, and the local jurisdiction
could be forced to incur the costs of a special election to
fill that vacancy.
5)Arguments in Opposition : In opposition to this bill, the
Central Valley Flood Control Association, Desert Water Agency,
East Valley Water District, and El Dorado Irrigation District
submitted similar letters arguing that "forfeiture of office
is a sufficient penalty for an elected official that is not in
compliance with residency requirements," and that they "do
not believe it is necessary to impose a . . . ban from any
public office or to impose civil or criminal penalties."
These four opponents all indicate that they would remove their
opposition if this bill is amended to remove the ban on
holding office and the civil and criminal penalties included
in the bill. Additionally, the Valley Ag Water Coalition
opposes this bill unless it is amended to exclude landowner
voter districts from the bill`s application.
REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :
None on file.
Central Valley Flood Control Association
Desert Water Agency
East Valley Water District
El Dorado Irrigation District
Valley Ag Water Coalition
Analysis Prepared by : Ethan Jones / E. & R. / (916) 319-2094
No Users/Politicians Found.
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