CA: Assembly Approves Clean Elections
By a vote of 46 to 24, the California Assembly approved a Clean Elections bill that would bring full public financing to that state’s elections. The bill now goes to the Senate.
The bill, AB 583, sponsored by Assembly member Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), passed on a nearly party line vote, with all but one Democrat supporting the measure and no Republicans voting “yes.” The legislation would establish a voluntary system of full public financing similar to the systems in place in Arizona and Maine and recently adopted by Connecticut, as well as the cities of Portland, Oregon and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Clean Money systems for some offices are also in place in New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont.
“The overwhelming support for this measure signals a sea change in California politics,” Trent Lange, said vice president of the California Clean Money Campaign. “Two months ago the issue of public financing of election campaigns was ‘being studied,’ today it is moving towards the Governor’s desk.”
Grassroots groups working to pass the legislation include the California Clean Money Campaign, the California Nurses Association, League of Women Voters, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, Gray Panthers, and the Sierra Club.
If the California legislature and governor approve Clean Money legislation, it will then go to voters for approval.