Public campaign finance bill is for 'display purposes only'
|The following appeared in Capitol Weekly today|
On Monday, the Assembly passed sweeping legislation in a historic vote to reform campaign finance in California.
Only it didn't.
Lost amid the media reports and the cheering from advocates was a small provision, buried in the second-to-last paragraph of the 16-page bill. It stated that, "The provisions of this act are set forth for display purposes only and shall not be operative."
That uncommon provision, inserted on Jan. 24, lowered the threshold for passage of the bill, which was sponsored by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, from a two-thirds vote to a simple majority.
It also stripped the bill of the force of law.
If the bill, as passed by the Assembly, were to pass through the Senate unchanged and be signed by the governor it would do nothing, as it is "for display purposes only," according to legislative analysts.
So while it was widely reported that legislation authorizing public financing of political campaigns cleared the Assembly, the reality was different: Hancock's bill would actually have to return to the Assembly without the "display purposes" provision--and pass with a two-thirds vote--to go into effect. Those votes are unlikely to come.
Read the rest here.