SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez’s, R-Lake Elsinore, announced today Senate Democrats killed her anti-corruption legislation, Assembly Bill 403, designed to provide whistleblower protection to legislative staff and root out corruption.
“Since I have been elected to the State Assembly, I have seen three State Senators arrested on corruption related charges, two of which are currently serving prison sentences. Yet, the Democrats do not believe corruption is a problem,” said Melendez.
Under current law, the California Whistleblower Protection Act provides protection to state employees in the executive and judicial branches who report any improper or unethical governmental activity. However, employees of the Legislature are not covered under this act.
Assembly Bill 403 would have extended those whistleblower protections to legislative staff who report illegal or unethical behavior in the Legislature.
This is Melendez’s fourth iteration of this legislation. The prior three versions also received unanimous support in the Assembly and subsequent Senate policy committees, yet were killed by Democrat leadership in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Apparently, accepting tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of bribes and gunrunning shoulder-fired rockets aren’t matters of concern for the Democrats,” Melendez said. “What is even more appalling is the Democrats believe eradicating corruption is too expensive, yet spending $68 billion on the High Speed Rail boondoggle is not.”
AB 403 was “held under submission” in the Senate Appropriations Committee, killing the bill without it being brought up for a vote. Democrat leadership’s excuse for killing the measure was the potential additional operating cost for the Legislature.
Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lake Mathews, Good Hope, Nuevo, and Winchester. Follow her on Twitter: @asmMelendez