- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Assembly has unanimously approved a bill providing whistleblower protections to legislative staff members, one of several bills moving through the Legislature in the wake of legal scandals that have led to the suspension of three lawmakers.

AB2065 advanced Wednesday to the Senate, where the Democratic senators are suspended.

The bill by Republican lawmakers Melissa Melendez and Jeff Gorell extends protections already available to other state employees. Senators Leland Yee and Ron Calderon face federal corruption charges, alleging they peddled their influence for campaign donations.

The bill also creates a process for staff to make complaints anonymously. Several lawmakers raised concerns that the provision could be abused for political reasons when legislators are running against each other.

A separate Senate resolution would provide whistleblower protections to Senate staff alone.