Fundraising Ban During Budget Drafting 2007

Senate Bill 25/Asssembly Bill 61

March 6, 2008

Senate Bill 25 and its companion bill Assembly Bill 61 are bipartisan proposals to prohibit elected state officials and their campaign committees from fundraising during state budget deliberations. Similar proposals were introduced in previous sessions and are part of a WDC-backed comprehensive reform proposal, Senate Bill 12 . Last session’s assembly proposal (2005 AB 66) was amended in committee to extend the fund-raising restriction for the governor and lieutenant governor to include the period immediately after the general election when they are involved in drafting the governor’s proposed budget and to apply the ban to all registered campaign committees, challengers and incumbent office holders. The full Assembly failed to take up that amended proposal.

SB 25 was introduced and referred to committee on Campaign Finance Reform, Rural Issues and Information Technology in the Senate on February 2, 2007. The committee held a public hearing on the bill February 12, 2008 (WDC’s testimony). The committee approved it unanimously on February 28, 2008.

AB 61 was referred to the Assembly Committee on Elections and Constitutional Law on February 13, 2007. The committee held a hearing on the bill on January 10, 2008 (WDC testimony). An attempt to pull the bill out of the committee and bring it to a vote in the full Assembly was defeated on a 50-47 vote on February 28, 2008. The committee then voted to reject AB 61 on a party-line 5-3 vote on March 6, 2008. Among the Republican committee members to vote against the bill was committee chairwoman Sheryl Albers, who is a co-sponsor of AB 61.