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California - AB 1676 - Elected officials: residency requirements
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Introduced
SENATE PASSED
HOUSE PASSED
SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

1/22/2009
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Policy Becomes Law


  • Policy Overview
  • An act to add Section 1065 to the Government Code, relating to elected officials.

    BILL NUMBER: AB 1676	INTRODUCED
    BILL TEXT
    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
    immediately.
    LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL`S DIGEST
    AB 1676, as introduced, Fuentes. Elected officials: residency
    requirements.
    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
    in California.
    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
    local program.
    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
    reimbursement.
    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
    the following:
    (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
    violation.
    (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
    Constitution.
    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.
  • Summary/Fact Sheet Title
  • No summary detail available
  • View Full Policy
  • BILL NUMBER: AB 1676 INTRODUCED
    BILL TEXT
    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
    immediately.
    LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL`S DIGEST
    AB 1676, as introduced, Fuentes. Elected officials: residency
    requirements.
    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
    in California.
    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
    local program.
    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
    reimbursement.
    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
    the following:
    (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
    violation.
    (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
    Constitution.
    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.



  • View History
  •           

               COMPLETE BILL HISTORY

              

              BILL NUMBER : A.B. No. 1676

              Latest Vote

              AUTHOR : Fuentes

              TOPIC : Elected officials: residency requirements.

              

              TYPE OF BILL :

               Active

  • View Analysis
  • 2010-04-05 00:00:00

    BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

    AB 1676
    Page 1

    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.

    AB 1676
    Page 2
    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
    her incumbency.

    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
    office.

    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.

    COMMENTS :

    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

    AB 1676
    Page 3

    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
    democracy.

    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

    AB 1676
    Page 4

    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

    AB 1676
    Page 5

    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

    AB 1676
    Page 6

    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 :

    Support

    None on file.

    Opposition

    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


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