Lobbyists in California will see their registration fees double under a bill on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Senate Bill 1001 by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, requires lobbyists and political candidates to pay a $50 annual registration fee to the Secretary of State. It's expected to generate $600,000, which would go toward improving the Cal-Access online system that tracks lobbying activity and campaign finance. Right now lobbyists pay $25 a year to register and recipient committees don't pay a fee at all.
The bill, sponsored by government watchdog group California Common Cause, was inspired by problems with the Cal-Access system.
"At a time when the Secretary of State's campaign and lobbying transparency website is outdated and constantly crashing, this common sense and long-awaited bill will make sure lobbyists and special interests pay their fair share in maintaining this essential public service," Phillip Ung, a lobbyist for California Common Cause, said in a statement.
The bill was supported by the lobbyists association. It required a two-thirds vote in both houses because it amends the state's Political Reform Act. SB 1001 cleared its final legislative hurdle today when the state Senate approved it on a concurrence vote of 31-5. Republicans Joel Anderson, Bob Dutton, Ted Gaines, Doug LaMalfa and Mimi Walters voted against the bill.