Public campaign financing initiative makes ballot

Published on

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, CA — An initiative that would authorize public financing and tougher contribution limits for state election campaigns has qualified for the November ballot, the secretary of state’s office said Monday.

The measure, sponsored by the California Nurses Association, is the 13th proposal to make the ballot.

The nurses’ initiative would authorize public financing for candidates for governor, the Legislature and other state offices who collect a certain number of signatures and $5 contributions. They also must agree not to take private donations beyond some initial money to organize their campaigns.

The $5 contributions would go into a fund to help pay for public financing. The rest of the funding would be generated by an increase in corporate taxes.

The initiative also would impose tougher limits on donations to candidates who shun public financing. Donors could give no more than $500 per election to legislative candidates and $1,000 per election to statewide candidates.

Current limits range from $3,300 per election for legislative candidates to $22,300 per election for candidates for governor.

The nurses’ initiative also would impose: a $1,000-a-year limit on donations to independent expenditure committees; an aggregate limit of $15,000 a year from any one contributor to candidates and campaign committees that support or oppose candidates and a $10,000 limit on how much a corporation could give to a ballot measure campaign.

The proposal needed the valid signatures of at least 373,816 registered voters.

It got 417,691, according to a sampling taken by elections officials.

Other proposals on the ballot include bond measures to pay for transportation projects, flood control, affordable housing, schools and parks. There also are measures to monitor sex offenders, protect transportation funding, raise cigarette and oil taxes, require a waiting period before a minor gets an abortion and impose a $50 parcel tax to help fund schools.
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