Spotlight on California

MapLight research on the influence of money and politics in California.

Bill to Prohibit Payment Based on Signatures Collected for Ballot Measures Passes Despite Strong Opposition

July 18, 2011 - On July 14, the California Assembly cleared SB 168 by a vote of 48-28. The measure would make it illegal for a person to pay or to receive money or any other thing of value based on the number of signatures obtained on a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition. The measure passed both chambers and is being sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.

First of Two Union-Backed DREAM Act Bills Reaches Gov. Brown's Desk

July 15, 2011 - The California Senate on Thursday passed the first of two "DREAM Act" bills, with one Republican joining all 25 Democrats in voting for the measure. The bill (AB 130) would allow undocumented immingrants who qualify for in-state tuition to apply for privately-funded scholarships. AB 130 had previously passed the Assembly on May 5 on a party line vote (51-22).

Competing Online Gambling Bills Bid for Senate Support

July 11, 2011 - The California Senate is revisiting the issue of online gambling as it seeks additional sources of revenue to supplement budgetary shortfalls. Two bills, SB 40 and SB 45, offer different plans to legalize online gambling games.

Money and Votes Divide along Party Lines in Committee Hearing to Regulate Health Insurance Plans

July 8, 2011 - The California Senate Committee on Health voted (5-3) to pass AB 52, a bill that would require health insurance plans and rate increases to be approved by a state board.

Union-Backed Online Voter Registration Bill Moves Forward Without Republican Support

July 7, 2011 - The California Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting passed a bill (SB 397) on Tuesday that would allow citizens in California to register to vote online. The bill passed the committee by a party line vote of 5-2, with Democrats voting in favor of the measure and Republicans voting against it.