With one Senator convicted of felony voter fraud and perjury, and another under indictment for allegedly accepting and soliciting $100 thousand in bribes, Senate Democrats felt they had to do something to win back the public’s trust. The result was a package of three proposed bills that would lower gift limits, require more reporting from lawmakers and ban fundraising events at the homes of lobbyists.
Senator Kevin de Leon says the legislation would also ban certain gifts to lawmakers.
“All gifts, let me underscore, emphasize and highlight, all gifts will be banned from lobbyists," he says. "It would zero out indefensible gifts such as tickets to professional sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, golf, spa and other recreational trips.”
All of the practices the legislation seeks to address are currently legal. But Democratic leaders say, in the wake of the recent scandals, the time is right to make some changes.
California Senator Tony Mendoza Resigns After Sexual Harassment Investigation, But Says He'll Run For Re-ElectionThursday, February 22, 2018
His resignation followed an outside investigation, which found that Mendoza likely engaged in "flirtatious or sexually suggestive" behavior with six different women, including former staffers and fellows. The allegations date back to 2007.
Report: California Senator Tony Mendoza ‘More Likely Than Not’ Made Sexual Advances Toward Six WomenTuesday, February 20, 2018
A summary of the Senate’s outside investigation comes after the chamber’s Rules Committee met in closed session to discuss Mendoza’s fate for the second weekday in a row.
New legislative efforts supporting the “Me Too” anti-harassment movement could change the reporting process for victims filing complaints.
Women in California politics, protesting sexual harassment and abuse at the Capitol, distrust the response from legislative leaders.
A man drew a weapon during routine security screening at the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center and was shot by police, Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said at a news conference. No officers were injured, he added.