One of the ways we improve the quality of life in the communities we serve is by actively participating in the public policy process. By engaging transparently, responsibly, and ethically with policymakers, we are able to support the continued health of our business and the communities where we live and work.
Legislative advocacy allows us to promote our positions and influence legislation in support of our customers, employees, and stockholders. Pursuant to California Government Code Section 86116, we file a quarterly Report of Lobbyist Employer. We do not have contract lobbyists in any states other than California, and none of our employees is registered as a lobbyist.
Consistent with federal law, the Company does not contribute corporate funds to federal candidate committees, national political party committees, or other federal committees. Corporate funds may be used for approved contributions to state or local candidate committees, or other state or local political committees where permitted by applicable laws and regulations. In no event are such contributions made in anticipation of, in recognition of, or in return for, an official act.
Political contributions funded by the company require approval by the Vice President, Customer Service and Chief Citizenship Officer or the Director of Community Affairs and Government Relations. The Vice President, Customer Service and Chief Citizenship Officer updates the President and Chief Executive Officer regularly and reports annually on political engagement to the Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
The Company values the personal right of its employees to engage voluntarily in the political process and encourages them to do so. Employees may not, however, use personal funds to make political contributions on behalf of the Company, and the Company shall not reimburse employees for any such contributions. Similarly, employees may not use work hours or Company resources to further their personal political activities. Finally, employees are reminded that political contributions may not be made in anticipation of, in recognition of, or in return for, an official act.
Political Action Committees
The Company’s employees have established two political action committees—the California Water Service Group Political Action Committee and the California Water Service State and Local Political Action Committee—that operate as separate segregated funds. The PACs enable employees to voluntarily pool their financial resources to support federal, state, and local political candidates and organizations. The PACs are funded exclusively by eligible employees and employees’ voluntary contributions. Both PACs and their political contributions are governed by their respective bylaws, overseen by the PACs’ board of directors, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
To maximize our ability to participate in the public policy process, the Company works with and is a member of various trade and industry associations. These organizations help to amplify our voice with government officials at the federal, state, and local levels. Each year, we will post on our website a list of the trade and industry associations to which we pay dues of $50,000 or more.
As part of our commitment to transparency, we report our political engagement in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The California Water Service Group Political Action Committee files regular reports with the Federal Election Commission. The California Water Service State and Local Political Action Committee files regular reports with California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. California Water Service also submits regular reports on its political engagement and lobbying activities.