SACRAMENTO — A California lawmaker wants to limit how local government associations can spend taxpayer money after two city councilors got into a brawl at a recent seminar put on by one of the groups.
Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s bill, introduced Tuesday, targets groups that lobby on behalf of and hold education events for local governments. It specifically references the California Contract Cities Association, but it would also apply to groups such as the League of California Cities and the Independent Cities
All three collect dues from cities they represent. The bill would prohibit them from using that money for anything other than lobbying or expenses directly related to educational seminars. The groups would have to disclose how
they spend their money.
The Associated Press reported in May that the contract cities association’s annual spring seminar featured a golf tournament, tickets for alcoholic beverages and bottles of wine for attendees. Two city councilors from Commerce got into a brawl at an after-hours event at the resort where the conference was held, sending one to the hospital. The association’s executive director said it did not occur at an association-sponsored event.
“Taxpayers expect their money to be used responsibly and there to be transparency, at the state level and in their local governments. This should extend to these local government lobbying organizations,” Garcia said in a statement. “These groups are extensions of governments and therefore the taxpayers themselves — who don’t expect governmental activities to result in drunken brawls.”