Santa Monica Lookout
B e s t   l o c a l   s o u r c e   f o r   n e w s   a n d   i n f o r m a t i o n

Santa Monica State Senator's Bill Wins Committee Approval
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Lookout Staff

April 28, 2016 -- A bill urging Congress to counter a Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to spend unlimited sums on elections won committee approval Tuesday, state officials said.

The legislation co-authored by Santa Monica State Senator Ben Allen and Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, passed from the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee on a vote of 5 to 2, a representative for Allen said.

Senate Bill (SB) 254 is an advisory measure urging the U.S. Congress to adopt an amendment to the Constitution to counter Citizens United, the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that rolled back a previous ban on corporate spending in federal elections.

It would allow an advisory measure on the November 8 ballot calling for the constitutional amendment.

Since the ruling, spending by Super PACs – political action committees now without limits on contributions – has reached $1 billion, Allen said. He said more than $600 million of the total comes from only 195 donors and their spouses.

California’s Legislature tried to place an advisory measure on the November ballot in 2014 supporting a federal constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.

The state Supreme Court, however, took Proposition 49 off the ballot while it determined whether the Legislature had the authority to act as it did.

On January 4, the state Supreme Court ruled that the legislature could pose the question to the voters but said that state lawmakers needed to pass another bill to place the measure on the ballot again. The bill by Allen and Leno is an effort to do so.

“People are frustrated and want to weigh in about the unchecked power of money in politics,” Allen said in a statement.

“Placing this advisory measure on the ballot gives the largest state in the country a voice in one of the most pressing political issues of our time. It’s our way of participating in the national conversation that has been roiling for decades.”

The Citizens United decision “gave special interests in America more power than the people when it comes to money in politics,” Leno said.

“It conflicts with every notion of what a democracy is and should be. Allowing voters to weigh in on this misguided decision makes perfect sense. The power of one’s voice should not be dependent upon the size of one’s checkbook.”

Back to Lookout News copyrightCopyright 1999-2016 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL Disclosures