Comprehensive Campaign Disclosure Legislation Passes State Senate

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May 29, 2013

Phillip Ung

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Comprehensive Campaign Disclosure Legislation Passes State Senate

Sunshine Campaigns Act will restore California as a leader in political disclosure

Sacramento, CA – This afternoon the California State Senate passed a comprehensive package of bills to reform California’s campaign finance disclosure laws to strengthen transparency and improve accountability. Senate Bills 2, 3, and 27, also known as the Sunshine in Campaigns Act, were all approved by State Senate with supermajority support and will move onto the State Assembly. The Sunshine in Campaigns Act is co-sponsored by California Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California.

“SB 2 aims to increase transparency and give more tools to enforcement agencies by closing gaps and loopholes,” Senator Lieu said about SB 2, known as the Sunshine in Campaigns Act. “It would also strengthen penalties to deter bad actors from shrugging off current fines as the cost of doing business, and conform California to the ‘Stand by Your Ad’ requirement in federal law.”

Senator Leland Yee added, “SB 3 will bring Cal-Access into the 21st century and help keep Sacramento Accountable.”

“This broad support from the Senate shows how serious legislators are taking campaign disclosure and the fight against dark money. We urge the Assembly to follow the Senate’s lead,” said Phillip Ung, spokesman for California Common Cause. “As co-sponsors of Senate Bills 2 and 3, we are confident these bills will reform campaign disclosure.”

The Sunshine in Campaigns Act will enact the following reforms:

Develops a plan for the creation of a 21st century online campaign finance disclosure system to replace the Secretary of State’s antiquated system.

Close the loophole that allows non-profits to contribute huge sums without disclosure;

Give the Fair Political Practices Commission discretionary audit powers to give access to campaign records prior to Election Day;

Increase fines on violators for the first time in decades;

Require state and local candidates to “Stand By Their Ad” like federal candidates; and

Reform slate mailer disclosures to identify independent expenditures and provide language access to non-English speaking voters.

Final Roll Call: SB 2 (28-10), SB 3 (30-6), and SB 27 (28-8).