Gov. Newsom signs landmark disclosure bills: SB 47 the Petition DISCLOSE Act and AB 201 the Text Message DISCLOSE Act!

SB 47 author Senator Ben Allen speaks at Clean Money Rally SB 47 author (and AB 201 floor manager) Senator Ben Allen firing up the Clean Money rally at the State Capitol in April that kicked off this year's campaign.

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SB 47 Fact Sheet
SB 47 Coalition Letter
SB 47 Final Bill Language

AB 201 Coalition Letter
AB 201 Coalition Letter
AB 201 Final Bill Language
We did it again!  On Tuesday Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 201, the Text Message DISCLOSE Act (Cervantes-Mullin), and SB 47, the Petition DISCLOSE Act (Allen)!

These are the first bills in the nation to close major loopholes for secret money behind political text messages and initiative campaigns, adding to California's national leadership on disclosure.  Both expand on the California DISCLOSE Act, the nation's most comprehensive campaign disclosure law, passed in 2017 after a long campaign, that requires political ads to clearly show their top funders

No other laws in the nation stop political text messages from hiding who pays for them as AB 201 does, or stops initiative signature gatherers from hiding who's paying to put the initiatives on the ballot as SB 47 does.

SB 47, authored by Senator Ben Allen and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, requires initiative signature gatherers to list the top 3 big funders of the effort on either the petition itself or on an "Official Top Funders" sheet shown to voters before they sign.  SB 47 also makes printing of initiative petitions less expensive by allowing the text of initiatives to be stapled to the signature page rather than professionally bound which allows initiative petitions to be printed at home.

AB 201, authored by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, jointly authored by Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, requires text messages from candidates to "stand by their ad" by listing their name and the office they’re running for.  Texts from other committees must include the committee name or a URL to a disclosure website.  Most important, texts sent by paid texters must list their top funder like TV, radio, print, and social media ads.

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AB 201 author Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes celebrates its 72-1 Assembly victory with Clean Money President Trent Lange.
Both bills were supported by major coalitions of state and national good government and activist organizations.  Especially important for passing AB 201 and SB 47 were California Common Cause, California League of Conservation Voters, Courage Campaign, Indivisible CA: Statestrong, Money Out Voters In and Voices for Progress, with a major assist from Christine Pelosi and many others.  The California Broadcasters Association and GetThru were also especially important for AB 201.  You can see the rest in our SB 47 Coalition Letter and AB 201 Coalition Letter.

We submitted 56,687 signatures to Governor Newsom in support of SB 47, and 41,284 signatures in support of AB 201.  Thousands of Californians called, commented, emailed, or used social media to ask for his signature.

Thanks to all of you who took actions big or small especially because AB 201 had powerful opponents asking Governor Newsom to veto it.  On both bills your actions were all crucial!

AB 201 passed the Senate and Assembly on nearly unanimous bipartisan votes of 34-1 and 72-1, without any Republican "No" votes.  Its passage in the Senate despite powerful opponents was ensured by the leadership of author Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes working with floor manager Senator Ben Allen and coauthor Senator Jerry Hill.  Republican Senators Ling Ling Chang and Brian Dahle led the effort that helped persuade every Republican except one to vote "Yes".  Senate Elections Chair Tom Umberg and Assembly Elections Chair Marc Berman, along with Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and especially joint author Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, also deserve great credit for this historic victory.

SB 47 passed on bipartisan votes that were almost as overwhelming, 32-8 and 64-11, thanks to the leadership of author Senator Ben Allen and floor manager Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin.  Every Democrat voted "Yes" in both the Senate and Assembly, joined by Republican Senators Andreas Borgeas, Ling Ling Chang, and Scott Wilk and Republican Assemblymembers Jordan Cunningham, Tom Lackey, and Jay Obernolte (who all also voted "Yes" on AB 201).

Of course these victories wouldn't have been possible without California Clean Money Action Fund staff: President and Executive Director Trent Lange, Deputy Director Catherine Ashworth, Field Organizer Katherine Carpio, Deputy Field Organizer Michael Shenk, and former Field Organizer and current Phonebank Trainer D'Marie Mulattieri.

Clean Money Activists at Grassroots Summit Clean Money Activists made it happen!  March 30 Clean Money Grassroots Summit shown here.

Most important of all is our grassroots Clean Money army, led by volunteer coordinators like Nancy Neff, Craig Dunkerley, David Schmidt, Kevin Wolf, Suzy Arnette, James McCord, Shirley Shelangoski, Ken Warfield, and our hundreds of other volunteer leaders, speakers, and activists!

A huge thanks to the rest of you for everything you did to help us make history and to help California once again lead the nation for real disclosure!

We had another great year against Big Money, but we can't ease off.  We must push harder so we can do even bigger things!  Our ability to grow and mobilize our powerful Clean Money grassroots army is powered by Clean Money members who give $5, $28, or $50 a month.  Can you join as a Clean Money member to help us defend and build on this nation-leading victory?

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