SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - On Thursday the California Senate approved a bill requiring state candidates to file electronic copies of campaign communications with the secretary of state.

If passed, communications would have to be filed no later than 24 hours after first distribution during the period 90 days prior to an election and filed no later than 5 days at any other time. The California Fair Political Practices Commission would enforce the law.

State Bill 1104 was authored by Sen. Alex Padilla, a Democratic, on a bipartisan basis, according to a press release.

"SB 1104 will increase transparency by making campaign communications electronically available to the public," said Padilla. "Using technology we can upload information to the secretary of state who can then post it where it can be reviewed by anyone. Technology makes it possible to increase transparency at a time when we need it most."

The states of Montana, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma each have laws that require public disclosure of campaign communications.

SB 1104 now goes to the State Assembly for consideration.

"Providing the public quick and easy online access to campaign communications will encourage civic engagement and a more informed electorate," said Padilla. "My hope is that requiring full public disclosure of communications such as TV advertisements, mailers and radio ads will deter negative campaign advertisements and hold candidates and campaigns more accountable."

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