CA: Clean Money BIll Heads to Assembly Floor
The next stop for legislation to bring publicly financed elections to California is the Assembly floor, with debate expected to begin later this week or early next week.
The expected floor action on AB 583, sponsored by Assembly member Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), follows a 13-5 vote to approve the bill in the Appropriations Committee on January 19. The bill, which would provide fully public financing for statewide and legislative races in California, now has 28 cosponsors.
California Clean Money Campaign and other coalition members, including the California Nurses Association, League of Women Voters, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, Gray Panthers, and the Sierra Club, are ramping up the pressure on the legislature, sending out emails targeted districts and asking activists to send faxes and make phone calls before the January 31, 2006 deadline when the legislation dies for this session.
"We are tremendously excited by this victory and greatly look forward to debating the merits of full public financing of campaigns before the full Assembly," said Susan Lerner, executive director of the California Clean Money Campaign.
"With corruption scandals becoming common front page features, people are increasingly disillusioned by politics because they feel that their elected officials work for big money instead of for them. At the same time, more and more people are joining the Clean Money movement because they recognize that Clean Money is the only comprehensive measure proven effective at tackling the problem of money in politics."
If Clean Money legislation passes the California legislature, it will need to go to voters for approval, due to a 1988 initiative prohibiting public financing of elections.