SACRAMENTO—California State Controller Betty T. Yee today announced her appointment of attorney and former Assemblywoman Catharine B. Baker to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).
The FPPC is a five-member independent, nonpartisan commission responsible for administration of the state’s Political Reform Act, which regulates campaign financing, conflicts of interest, lobbying, and governmental ethics. The FPPC works to ensure public officials act in a fair and unbiased manner in governmental decision-making, promote transparency in government, and foster public trust in the political system.
Baker represented the 16th District in the California State Assembly from 2014 through 2018. She currently is special counsel at the firm Hoge Fenton, where she advises businesses and nonprofits. Catharine also practices election law, advising nonprofits and both partisan and non-partisan organizations on election matters. Baker serves on many nonpartisan, nonprofit boards: California Women Lead, helping women attain elected and appointed office; California Forward, pushing for an inclusive government and economy; California Common Cause, an advocacy group focused on voting rights, redistricting reform, and government transparency; the Livermore Lab Foundation, which supports STEM education; and the Diablo Regional Arts Association, expanding access to professional arts for families, students, and schools. She previously served on the California State Bar’s Financial Institutions Committee.
The Governor appoints the FPPC chair and one other commissioner of a different political party. The State Controller, Attorney General, and Secretary of State each appoint one commissioner for a four-year term beginning February 1 after each presidential election. In the interest of nonpartisanship, no more than three members may be from the same political party. When the State Controller, Attorney General, and Secretary of State belong to the same party, the Controller selects a commissioner from a list provided by the chair of another political party with registration of more than 500,000 Californians.
Baker, a Republican, earned her bachelor of arts in political science with honors from the University of Chicago and her juris doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She replaces Allison R. Hayward on the FPPC.
As the chief fiscal officer of California, Controller Yee is responsible for accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources. The Controller has independent auditing authority over government agencies that spend state funds. She is a member of numerous financing authorities, and fiscal and financial oversight entities including the Franchise Tax Board. She also serves on the boards for the nation’s two largest public pension funds. Elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018, Controller Yee is the tenth woman elected to a statewide office in California’s history. Follow the Controller on Twitter at @CAController and on Facebook at California State Controller’s Office.
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