FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- September 11, 1997
CONTACT: CHARLES WRIGHT, (916) 445-6447
LEGISLATURE SENDS KARNETTE BILL REQUIRING
CAMPAIGN REPORTS ON THE INTERNET TO THE GOVERNOR
Sacramento - The Senate today sent legislation requiring the posting of campaign and lobbying reports on the Internet to the Governor. The measure, Senate Bill 49 - The Online Disclosure Act of 1997 -- by Senator Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach), is the culmination of three years of efforts to enact this proposal.
"This is the most significant campaign reform measure passed by the Legislature in decades," said Karnette, Chair of the Senate Elections Committee. "Posting campaign reports on the Internet will finally result in the full public disclosure of who is contributing money to political candidates."
Campaign and lobbying reports are only available at the Secretary of State's office or at County Clerk's offices making them virtually inaccessible to the average voter. SB 49 requires candidates, special interest groups and lobbyists to file their disclosure statements online and then have them posted on the Internet. Online disclosure will begin on a volunteer basis in 1999 and become mandatory with the 2000 elections. SB 49 also requires all last minute contributions and independent
expenditures to be posted on the Internet within 24 hours.
"Voters want to know who contributes to campaigns," said Karnette. "This bill puts that information at their fingertips. The Legislature has debated this idea for three years and now the Governor has a chance to make it a reality."
The Online Disclosure Act is a bipartisan measure with 22 legislative co-authors. It is supported by a broad coalition including the Secretary of State, the Fair Political Practices Commission, Common Cause, Consumers Union, Californian's for Political Reform, the League of Women Voters, the
American Association of Retired Persons, the California Teachers Association, and Silicon Valley business groups.