League success in the legislature
The LWVC ended this legislative year with several notable successes as Governor Brown’s decisions to sign or veto bills brought the 2013-2014 session to a close. The Governor signed SB 1253 (Steinberg) to give voters more useful information about ballot measures and increase public and legislative feedback in the initiative process, producing some of the advantages of the indirect initiative. The League spearheaded a broad coalition of organizations and individuals that came together to make this reform possible.
Other successes included issues as varied as contraception coverage and long-overdue requirements for reporting water use in oil and gas drilling.
Mixed results in Money in Politics, Education, Voting Rights/Elections
Money in politics was a special focus for both the League and the scandal-ridden legislature in 2014. Early in the year, we worked hard for the passage of SB 27 (Correa), which is already in operation preventing undisclosed “dark money” contributions to state campaigns and requiring that the top 10 contributors to big ballot measure campaigns are posted on the Fair Political Practices Commission’s website. All told, nine campaign financing and ethics bills supported by the LWVC were signed this year. There’s more work ahead for us, though; the Governor wielded his veto pen on another seven political ethics and election transparency bills.
Results were also mixed in the field of education. In particular, we supported the Attorney General’s truancy bill package, but only two of the four bills that made it to the Governor’s desk were signed.
Voting rights legislation will certainly be a League focus next session, as we were disappointed in the fate of two bills, AB 280 and SB 1365, that would have protected the ability of all Californians to exercise their right to vote. We were pleased, however, with the enactment of two election bills we championed that will allow vote-by-mail ballots to be counted if they are received up to three days after Election Day and will extend to sixteen-year-olds the ability to preregister to vote.
Keep informed with the Bill Status Report!
The Bill Status Report lists all the bills on which the LWVC took a position and their status at the end of this session.