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Calif. legislature ends with Net law

As lawmakers from California wrap up the legislative year, another law concerning the Internet goes to the governor while two more await approval.

As lawmakers from California wrap up the legislative year, another law concerning the global network was sent to the governor while two more awaited approval.

Yesterday, the state's legislature approved a bill that would require political campaigns to report their contributions online. Two more bills appear close to being approved. One would make it a crime to use email to seduce or try to sexually arouse a known minor. The other would require state employees to transmit requested public documents electronically whenever possible.

Both bills were awaiting concurrence hearings this afternoon, a fairly routine process in which legislators from one house iron out minor differences created by the other house.

The bills are three of a handful of Net proposals that have been introduced in California. Because of the Golden State's economy relies so heavily on the Internet and computer technology industries, the state is seen as being on the forefront of Net legislation. (See related story.)

"To my knowledge, California will be the first state to actually require that [campaign] reports themselves be transmitted online," said Larry Sokol, a staffer for the bill's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Betty Karnette. "Most of the other states and local entities that have contributions on the Net start in hard copy" and then are input into a database.