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Assembly Committee Vice-Chaired by Diane Harkey Shelves Bill to Ban Special Interest Gifts to Legislators

Once again, a bill by GOP state Sen. Sam Blakeslee to ban gifts to California legislators by the state's special interests, known as "lobbyist employers," has died in committee without a hearing or public vote.

As reported yesterday on the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert blog, Senate Bill 1426 "was shelved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

"The bill will not reach the Assembly floor and no member of the committee will record a vote on it."

Republican Diane Harkey, whose 73rd district includes Oceanside and other portions of North County, is vice-chairwoman of the committee.

The legislation "would have banned lobbyist employers from giving legislators or other elected state officers free golf, ski, hunting, fishing or other outings, as well as gift cards or tickets to professional sporting events, theme parks, or racetracks."

A similar Blakeslee bill met the same fate last year in May.

On that occasion, the legislation was buried by the senate's Appropriations committee, chaired by San Diego Democrat Christine Kehoe.

"Once again, the Legislature failed to act on good-government reforms to improve the culture and transparency in the Capitol," Blakeslee was quoted as saying at the time. "Instead, Sacramento has yet again killed reform bills behind closed doors."

A Los Angeles Times account of the event noted: “Elected state officials accepted $637,000 in gifts last year, including tickets from AT&T to a Lakers game, a San Francisco Giants World Series game and golf at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, according to disclosures that lawmakers are required to file with the state.”

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Once again, a bill by GOP state Sen. Sam Blakeslee to ban gifts to California legislators by the state's special interests, known as "lobbyist employers," has died in committee without a hearing or public vote.

As reported yesterday on the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert blog, Senate Bill 1426 "was shelved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

"The bill will not reach the Assembly floor and no member of the committee will record a vote on it."

Republican Diane Harkey, whose 73rd district includes Oceanside and other portions of North County, is vice-chairwoman of the committee.

The legislation "would have banned lobbyist employers from giving legislators or other elected state officers free golf, ski, hunting, fishing or other outings, as well as gift cards or tickets to professional sporting events, theme parks, or racetracks."

A similar Blakeslee bill met the same fate last year in May.

On that occasion, the legislation was buried by the senate's Appropriations committee, chaired by San Diego Democrat Christine Kehoe.

"Once again, the Legislature failed to act on good-government reforms to improve the culture and transparency in the Capitol," Blakeslee was quoted as saying at the time. "Instead, Sacramento has yet again killed reform bills behind closed doors."

A Los Angeles Times account of the event noted: “Elected state officials accepted $637,000 in gifts last year, including tickets from AT&T to a Lakers game, a San Francisco Giants World Series game and golf at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, according to disclosures that lawmakers are required to file with the state.”

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