Senator Hurtado’s Government Transparency and Accountability Legislative Package (Senate Bills 1151, 1155 & 1156’s) passes out of the California State Senate

SACRAMENTO, CA – Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield) released the following statements after three of her priority bills from her legislative package on ‘Government Transparency and Accountability.’ Senate Bill 1151, the Foreign Influence Transparency and Accountability (FITA) Act, Senate Bill 1155, the Modernizing the Prohibition on Insider Trading for Government Executives Act and Senate Bill 1156, the Groundwater Sustainability Agencies Transparency Act, were passed by the California State Senate.  

“The foundational principles of our democracy, and California’s legislative and regulatory processes, are transparency and accountability,” said Senator Hurtado. “This legislative session, I introduce a package of bills that seek to promote government transparency and accountability in an effort to ensure the public trust in our democratic process.”

“Senate Bill 1151 responds to foreign governments’ efforts to influence our domestic and foreign policies, legislation, democratic processes, and even public opinions,” said Senator Hurtado. “This bill requires any person acting as a foreign agent within the state of California to disclose their affiliations to any foreign principles, ensuring transparency and accountability in our democratic processes.”

“Another bill in this important legislative package, Senate Bill 1155 promotes transparency and increased trust in the integrity of state agencies during the policymaking processes by reducing the inherent conflicts of interest that arise when state agency executives leave their departments and seamlessly transition into lucrative lobbying roles, potentially leveraging insider knowledge for personal gain,” said Senator Hurtado.

“Finally, Senate Bill 1156 seeks to create policies and procedures that promote transparency, prevent conflicts of interest, and ensures accountability within groundwater sustainability agencies. By requiring greater accountability from those in power of these agencies, we can better safeguard the sustainable management of our groundwater resources,” said Senator Melissa Hurtado.

Senate Bill 1151 ensures there is transparency and accountability for those who advocate in California’s legislative and regulatory processes by requiring any person acting as an agent of a foreign principal within the state of California to disclose their activities to the State and educate themselves on the requirements under the United States Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).

Senate Bill 1155 aims to broaden the scope of lobbying restrictions by including executive members of state agencies. The bill proposes a one-year prohibition period for these officials from engaging in lobbying activities.

Senate Bill 1156 would require members of the executive team and board of directors of groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) to disclose any economic or financial interests they maintain, ensuring these agencies remain transparent and focused on the communities they serve.

Both bills now head to the California State Assembly for committee consideration before that body’s membership.