GOP senators push to double bribery sentences

SACRAMENTO (AP) - 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.

Senators Mike Morrell, Steve Knight and Ted Gaines said Friday that the ethics reforms proposed by California Democrats are too weak. Their proposal would double the prison sentence for bribery to four to eight years under state law.

Senators Leland Yee and Ron Calderon are both facing more than 100 years in federal prison if they are convicted. Neither lawmaker is currently facing state charges.

The Republicans say their legislation would show voters the state Senate has zero tolerance for corruption. Other reform proposals pending in the Senate and sponsored by Democrats include imposing a fundraising blackout during the legislative session and appointing a new ethics ombudsman.


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