Drafted by Robert A. Jackson, Legal Aide, Oakland, CA on June 3, 2011.
An act to aide the Attorney General in fulfilling California Constitution, Article V, Section 13. Uniform and adequate enforcement in the protection of liberties and the maintenance of justice includes the encouragement of economic prosperity, tolerance, and safeguards for human, natural, and financial resources for this and future generations.
Assembly Bill No. (TBD)
Introduced by Assembly Member (TBD)
AB ___, as introduced, __________ Ethics Panel: Advancing the reduction and prevention of crime consequently increases peace to produce a greater quality of life for all Californians. Public safety, education, health, and economy are interdependent. This bill would establish an Ethics Panel Chairperson under the Attorney Generalís Office and separate fund within the State Treasury maintained by the Controllerís Office for the purpose of enabling critical peace making partnerships within our State to prevent or reduce crime while simultaneously reinforcing or creating conditions favorable for optimal personal and industrial development. In addition, programs approved by the Ethics panel will assist the State to maximize resources, prevent waste, and expand justice using donations that come from the community. Once adopted, the Ethics Panel Chairperson will direct the donation of funds to the Stateís Treasury. Then, the Legislative Analysts office will report cost saving funds documented from prior year savings which resulted from Ethics Panel Activities including adopted policies and or programmatic enhancements. The Controller will be authorized to award all raised funds, plus only twenty percent of saved funds to Ethics Panel with or without an Approved State budget. The remaining eighty percent of saved funds must be applied to the Governorís Discretionary funds. In the event the legislature wishes to add additional support to Ethic Panel Activities, it may determine and award an appropriate budget. Ten percent of the twenty percent awarded from cost saving analysis may be awarded in the form of State bonds that the Ethics Panel chairperson may coordinate the disbursement of so that donors are given incentives that encourage their participation and continued support of our State. All funds are administered to support, protect, and empower the community. The only cost associated with this program is the single permanent position of an existing civil Servant, Mr. Jackson, Legal Aide, whom upon approval will be transferred to the office of the Attorney General to assemble policies and procedures and then upon approval, administer the Ethics Panel.
The central purpose of the Ethics Panel is to award seed grants or reimbursement funds to approved independent programs from organizations, entities, or individuals which provide significant empirical results or compelling evidences that demonstrate proposed projects are, or new policy or amendments will, significantly advance the goals of, and/or will improve cost savings through marked waste reductions in existing or proposed government programs, or otherwise will significantly increase Californiaís economic prosperity while honoring substantial social and environmental commitments consistent with Californiaís need to preserve and protect our States natural resources while sustaining, or establishing, a reasonable and equitable quality of life for all.
This bill requires the fund be administered by the State Controller and would authorize the Controller to deposit private donations into the fund from entities with no associated financial gain or special privileges or entitlements for doing so. The bill would require the funds collected as donations or application processing fees and payable to the State of Californiaís Ethics Panel be limited in use to fund Ethics Panel activities and projects minus a five to ten percent administration fee. The fee will be negotiable based on workload demand and payable to the Stateís Controllerís Office to offset fees for managing the Ethics Panel fund. Funds collected as donations will not be subject to budget delays associated with the States budget since those funds are 100 percent generated through public donations. The remaining match funds and bond designations allocated will be subject to annual approval by the Governor and legislature.
This bill authorizes the California Human Resources to immediately transfer Robert A. Jackson, Legal Aide, into the position of Chairperson to manage the Ethics Panel. Under State Personnel Board Rules 430-433, a State employee may transfer from one job class to another if the levels of duties, responsibility, and salary of the two classes are substantially the same and the classes are not in the same series. The transfer does not constitute a promotion as required by SPB rules, but the salary should be increased to the maximum allowed in the transfer rules. The Ethics Panel Chairperson shall have the overall authority for administrating the program. The Ethics Panel shall have an independent charter ratified by the Chairperson annually, pending Attorney Generalís approval, which will bind the all-volunteer board members and establish the chairs assigned duties. The Ethics Panel shall consist of five or more volunteers whom possess graduate degrees or higher, or equivalencies, to help locate the most qualified panel members whom also pass background checks and are in good standing in the community as demonstrated by having no felony records in any State or Country. References will be verified which cover a ten year period for all panel volunteers due to necessary security safeguards required by the position in consideration of Social Economic Welfare and Security duties performed.
The Chairperson will make final determinations in appeal situations under guidance from Attorney Generalís legal Council, if needed. The Ethics Panel shall meet quarterly, fund permitting, to review competitive proposals submitted to the Panel that show the most promise in advancing the mission and goals of The State of California. Approved projects will meet eligibility and other requirements determined by the Chairperson and the Ethics Panel to ensure the fund is fairly and reasonably allocated. Beginning 2013, annual summaries of donors, activities, and expenditures of the Panel will be posted publically on the Attorney Generalís website.
The policy and procedures that guide the Ethics Panelís administration and activities shall be developed by the Ethicís Panel Chairperson and shall be submitted to the legislature for approval in 2012.
A Memorandum of Understanding drafted by the Ethics Panel Chairperson will clarify information sharing between Department of Justice, State Controllerís office, Labor and related agencies, State Treasurer, State Audits, California Human Resources, State Personnel Board, Unions, Governorís office, and any other agency or organization determined to be critical sources for information regarding significant safety and or quality of life issues that are, or likely could impact California. Such information may help the Ethics Panel develop criteria and special project guidelines and initiatives for funding that encourages the publicís participation in achieving peace and economic prosperity.
The operation of the Ethics Panel shall be publically announced and begin in 2012 following the legislative adoption of The Ethics Panelís policies. The Administrative Procedure Manual will reflect policies and guide the Ethics Panel (EP) and the public on application processes and operations details.