Brown signs bill to strengthen campaign finance

Governor Jerry Brown
Governor Jerry Brown
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Updated: 4/03/2014 11:39 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation giving California's political watchdog agency more authority to enforce the state's campaign finance laws and investigate suspected wrongdoing.

AB800 by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Gordon of Menlo Park was drafted in response to $15 million that was anonymously funneled into two 2012 initiative campaigns. That resulted in a $1 million campaign finance fine, the largest in state history.

Gordon's bill gives the California Fair Political Practices Commission the authority to conduct immediate audits when political campaigns are suspected of illegal activity and requires subcontractors and sub-vendors to disclose their donations.

Candidates who leave office also would have only 90 days to decide what to do with any remaining campaign money.

The bill Brown signed into law Thursday takes effect July 1.

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