On politics in the Golden State
May 30, 2012 | 4:41 pm

State lawmakers balked Wednesday at levying a fee against their own campaigns and lobbyists to upgrade the state’s fragile and aging database for campaign finance reporting.

The state Senate failed to muster the two-thirds vote needed to approve a bill that would charge a $50 registration fee to campaign committees and double, from $25 to $50, the annual fee charged to lobbyists who register to operate in the state.

Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) said the fees are needed to maintain, improve and possibly replace the 12-year-old Cal-Access, a website and database that allows the public to see who is making political contributions and hiring lobbyists.

“You can imagine finding parts and qualified individuals to maintain that system has been rather increasingly difficult, and that’s one of the reasons the system went down for nearly a month in December of last year,” Yee told his colleagues.

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