Lawmaker Scandals Prompt Ethics Bills From Senate Democrats

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — Stung by criminal charges against two colleagues, the leader of the state Senate and other Democratic lawmakers are seeking tighter rules on lawmakers and lobbyists.

The legislative package announced Thursday would prohibit lawmakers and their employees from accepting what one senator called “the most egregious, indefensible” gifts, including tickets to sporting events and concerts.

The package also would reduce from $440 to $200 the annual cap on gifts to state officials. Candidates would have to report campaign spending and expenses every three months, instead of twice a year.

They could not accept gifts from lobbyists or hold political fundraisers in lobbyists’ homes, a move that addresses recent campaign finance violations.

The proposals come after Democratic Sen. Roderick Wright was convicted of voter fraud and another, Sen. Ron Calderon, was indicted on federal corruption charges.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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