Politics & Government

Brown signs three FPPC bills, vetoes campaign finance bill

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a handful of bills designed to promote government transparency and vetoed one that would have required more training for people who manage finances for political campaigns.

Brown signed three bills sponsored by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission:

Three other bills sponsored by the FPPC this year did not make it out of the Legislature.

The commission’s chairwoman, Ann Ravel, said the bills Brown signed will improve government transparency. The creation of an online database of statements of economic interest will “revolutionize the ability to hold public officials accountable across the state,” Ravel said in a statement.

Brown vetoed Senate Bill 3 by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, which sought a number of changes to California’s campaign finance laws. It would have required that a campaign treasurer complete an online training course and that the secretary of state complete a study of the technological changes necessary to create a more robust online system for filing campaign finance reports.

“There is no doubt the current system – widely viewed as outdated and cumbersome – needs upgrading,” Brown wrote in his veto message.

He wrote that he was directing state officials to come up with “recommendations on the best way to improve campaign disclosure.”

The bill was sponsored by California Common Cause. The group sent out a message saying that even though Brown vetoed the bill, he took “a step forward to improving transparency in our elections” by acknowledging flaws in the current system and directing officials to suggest improvements.

“This action would not have been taken without the pressure from the Legislature, voters and organizations like Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California who worked together across party lines to pass Senate Bill 3,” wrote Common Cause spokesman Phillip Ung.