New legislation introduced by state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, would put a $5,500 limit on individual donations to candidates for local school and community college district boards, Dodd announced in a statement. There are currently no limits on donations to school board candidates.
“Too often, we’re seeing eye-popping amounts donated to candidates for smaller community offices,” Dodd said in the statement. “These well-financed campaigns favor the wealthy at the exclusion of grassroots candidates and people of color. Putting a cap on the money in these races will help ensure fairness in local elections while encouraging a more diverse field that is more reflective of the population.”
Senate Bill 328 would cap individual donations to school board candidates at $5,500, which is equal to the cap on donations to candidates for the legislature, according to the statement.
“No candidate for local office needs contributions larger than those for a Senate or Assembly district,” Dodd said.
Dodd said a lack of both media coverage and public interest in school board races leads to little analysis or scrutiny of donations. The $5,500 limit also applies to candidates for city and county offices.
The proposed law would also apply to donations to candidates for special district boards, such as water and sewer districts.