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LA City Council Bans Political Contributions From Real Estate Developers

LOS ANGLES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted unanimously to pass an ordinance which bans real estate developers from contributing to political candidates running for city office.

Construction workers work on site of a new building in Los Angeles on Oct. 8, 2019. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

L.A. is now the first city in the nation to ban political donations from developers who have business before the city, according to City Ethics Commission staff.

"Today, we took a crucial step in rebuilding trust in City Hall," Councilman David Ryu said in a statement. "There is nothing more fundamental than building trust in our democracy, and today, we are laying the foundation for a City Hall that works for the people."

The ordinance was first introduced back in January following FBI raids on the home and office of longtime Councilman Jose Huizar.

In November 2018, the FBI raided Huizar's office as part of its investigation into possible bribery, extortion and money laundering at L.A. City Hall focusing on huge real estate investments from Chinese companies.

No arrests have been made in connection with the raid. Since 2005, Huizar has represented District 14, which is mostly made up by the Boyle Heights area. He is prevented from running again due to term limits when his current term expires in 2020.

City law currently limits contributions from non-individuals, with the charter setting limits on such donations, adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. The current maximum is $226,500 for city council candidates.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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