Lawmakers had their chance to at least attempt to change that perception, including getting a ballot initiative in front of voters that would suspend the pay and benefits for any legislator that gets in trouble with the law and is suspended.
The legislative session is expected to end shortly after midnight with votes on a pair of ethics bills that would update campaign-finance rules.
Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso was arrested Friday for investigation of drunken driving after being stopped for going the wrong way on a one-way street, the latest black eye for the state’s majority party and the 40-member chamber.
The revised indictment unsealed last week also alleges that state Sen. Leland Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, sought money in exchange for helping pass legislation making it harder for professional football players to obtain workers compensation in California.
A California state senator charged in a sweeping organized crime and public corruption case centered in San Francisco’s Chinatown now also faces a racketeering charge.
SCA17 was crafted in response to the recent legal troubles of three California state senators, and the inability of the state legislature to suspend their salaries. The three suspended senators have cast a pall on the crumbling Democratic supermajority in the state Senate.
The California Citizens Compensation Commission met on Friday and approved a 2 percent raise for California lawmakers and state officials, including embattled state Sens. Ron Calderon, Leland Yee and Roderick Wright.
Disgraced State Sen. Leland Yee’s name is still on the ballot in the race for Secretary of State, even after his arrest and indictment.
California voters are alarmed by a string of corruption scandals in Sacramento, but most feel any wrongdoing is not widespread, a poll indicated Saturday.
Three Republican state senators are calling for increased criminal penalties for lawmakers convicted of taking bribes under state law, a move that comes as two Democratic colleagues face federal corruption charges.
State senators were scheduled to receive a refresher course in ethics on Wednesday, the fallout from a series of legal cases involving Democratic lawmakers this year.
Suspended California state Sen. Leland Yee has pleaded not guilty to all charges for his alleged role in a San Francisco political corruption and organized crime case.