Improving Cal-Access

There is no doubt the current system – widely viewed as outdated and cumbersome – needs upgrading. – Governor Jerry Brown

Cal-Access is the Secretary of State’s online system for campaign finance filing and disclosure. State candidates and political committees submit required filings through Cal-Access for online publication. With heightened public alarm about money in politics, the outdated Cal-Access system – now more than 15 years old – is inadequate to provide meaningful transparency.

How California will modernize campaign disclosure

In September 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law SB 1349 (Hertzberg), which directs the SOS to develop a modern campaign finance disclosure system that is more user-friendly, and will allow voters to access important information that may inform their vote. The goals are to:

  • Create a data-driven system
  • Allow integration of city, county, and state-level data
  • Track and aggregate contributions, to allow voters to see who the top contributors are
  • Allocate up to $13.5 million to replace the outdated current system with a modern, improved Cal-Access
  • Develop the system using cost-effective, streamlined, and innovative IT development processes

Secretary Alex Padilla and Sen. Bob Hertzberg led the way in trying to enhance Cal-Access. Sen. Hertzberg’s SB 1349 now gives Secretary Padilla the direction and resources necessary to bring Cal-Access into the 21st century.

Who Supports Modernizing Campaign Disclosure?

An unusual coalition of labor, business, social justice, and good government groups came together to find areas of common ground to successfully advocate for SB 1349. California Common Cause co-convened the Political Reform and Modernization (PRAM) group with California Business Roundtable, California Common Cause, California Forward, and the California Labor Federation. PRAM prioritized the modernization of Cal-Access as a top goal.

Read more here.


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Latest Status

SACRAMENTO - Yesterday, the Legislature showed bipartisan support for Senate Bill 1349 (Hertzberg), which would direct the Secretary of State to modernize Cal-Access, California’s online system for campaign finance filing and disclosure. SB...

SB 1349 Passes with Bipartisan Support
August 31, 2016

California Common Cause is working to increase transparency by improving California's online campaign finance filing and disclosure system, Cal-Access. Watch our press conference for Senate Bill 1349, which drastically overhauls and modernizes...

If Cal-Access were a cell phone, it would be a pager
March 14, 2016

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