Christian Berthelsen reports on the state Assembly’s failure to pass SB773, the Financial Information Privacy Act of 2002.
Moderate Democrats joined Republicans to defeat the bill on a 34-36 vote, ending what was possibly the most contentiously debated piece of legislation this year.
The closely watched political drama pitted consumer advocates against banks and insurers, which spent more than $10 million on lobbying and campaign donations.
“I will not stop until we have a strong privacy law in effect,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough.
It is now very likely that the next step for this legislation will be to take the whole issue completely out of the legislator’s hands via a citizen-sponsored initiative campaign. From the San Jose Mercury News article on the act’s defeat last night:
Despite defeat, privacy proponents remain undeterred. A coalition to put the issue to voters has already received a $1 million donation. And a poll commissioned by supporters showed 77 percent of Californians in favor of Speier’s bill and just 14 percent opposed.