Partnership supports federal Sites Reservoir bill, opposes business free speech restrictions of HR 1
IRWINDALE, CA - This week, the Partnership joined a nationwide coalition of 317 business groups that opposed H.R. 1, which has the misleading title of the "For the People Act of 2019." Although its supporters focus on aspects of the bill that purport to bring more people into the political process, other parts of the legislation are clearly designed to have precisely the opposite effect – pushing certain voices, representing large segments of the electorate and our economy, out of the political process altogether.
"HR 1 is being touted as a measure to chase dark money out of politics but in fact it is a blatant unconstitutional attempt to regulate our free speech," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "It unfairly targets business groups and would sharply restrict their political voice and activities."
The bill would create an uneven playing field for business associations due to stringent reporting requirements. Organizations that have members that join for less than $10,000 will be exempted from the legislation’s proposed reporting requirements. This exclusion is designed to carve out labor organizations from disclosure requirements, leaving associations that represent the business community squarely in the cross-hairs.
Many business groups believe the bill would dissuade a host of associations from trying to advocate on issues, essentially taking the business community and trade associations out of the political advocacy process. There is specific language in the bill that calls for using the so-called PASO standard when determining political activity. That could cover any communications from lobbying groups that “promote,” “attack,” “support” or “oppose” a candidate or elected official.
Click here to read the full letter sent by the coalition opposing HR 1.
The Partnership also supported H.R. 1453, the Sites Reservoir Project Act this week, a bill by Rep. John Garamendi (D-Davis). The bill would provide federal support for the construction of Sites Reservoir and related water infrastructure in Colusa and Glenn Counties. The construction of the Sites Reservoir would provide critically needed water supply reliability for the environment, farms and cities. The importance of expanding the capacity of water storage for the future of California cannot be estimated.