Legislation cracking down on anonymous campaign donations, amended to protect donors who have given money for this election, advanced from the California Assembly on a 56-7 vote Monday.
Lawmakers have sought to rein in secretive campaign spending since out-of-state groups funneled $15 million against Proposition 30 and for Proposition 32 in 2012. Senate Bill 27, by Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, would help that cause by triggering disclosure of the donors when donations hit a certain amount.
"The law needs to catch up with the way in which nonprofits avoid reporting requirements," Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, said on Monday.
The bill hit a snag in the Senate earlier this year. Correa and other backers want the law to be in place when voters hit the polls later this year.
Republicans pushed back, saying the bill would unfairly expose donors who gave money under the assumption they could remain anonymous. Democrats, who with two senators on leave had lost the two-thirds majority needed to move Correa's bill(the two senators and a third alleged lawbreaker have since been suspended), acquiesced and pulled the bill back.
Amendments clarify that contributors who gave money before the law kicks in on July 1 would not be outed under the new disclosure rules.
Now the altered version will go to the Senate, a test of whether the changes are enough to quell the Republican resistance.
PHOTO: Senator Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana during a joint session in the Assembly chambers in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday, March 11, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.