May 7, 2019 •

Florida Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Florida Capitol Building

The Florida Legislature adjourned sine die on May 4. The 61-day legislative session ran a day longer than expected as lawmakers passed a $91.1 billion state budget over the weekend. During the session, lawmakers failed to pass an ethics reform […]

The Florida Legislature adjourned sine die on May 4.

The 61-day legislative session ran a day longer than expected as lawmakers passed a $91.1 billion state budget over the weekend.

During the session, lawmakers failed to pass an ethics reform bill revising post-service lobbying restrictions and executive branch lobbyist registration.

The Legislature passed House Bills 7021 and 7023 requiring the electronic filing of financial disclosures.

If signed by the governor, the electronic filing requirement is effective January 1, 2022.

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April 18, 2019 •

Tallahassee Board Proposes Expansion of Ethics Code

On Tuesday, the Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board proposed changes to expand the city’s ethics code.

The proposal expands the Board’s jurisdiction to procurement employees and individuals required to file state financial disclosures.

Additionally, the proposal increases the fines faced by lobbyists to $1,000 for the first intentional violation, and prohibits covered individuals from accepting or soliciting all gifts regardless of value from vendors and lobbyists.

The draft ordinance will head to the city commission for final approval later this spring.

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January 30, 2019 •

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Election Resigns

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher resigned last week from her post. Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended her earlier this month for failing to meet deadlines during last November’s election recount. Wendy Santory Link has been appointed by the […]

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher resigned last week from her post.

Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended her earlier this month for failing to meet deadlines during last November’s election recount.

Wendy Santory Link has been appointed by the governor to replace her.

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January 25, 2019 •

Florida Governor Announces Special Election

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the dates to hold a special election to fill the vacancy in House District 7. The special primary election will take place on April 9, while the special general election will be on June 18. The […]

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the dates to hold a special election to fill the vacancy in House District 7.

The special primary election will take place on April 9, while the special general election will be on June 18.

The seat was vacated when Halsey Beshears resigned in order to serve as the head of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

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November 7, 2018 •

Florida Passes Amendment to Move Legislative Session to January

Voters passed Amendment 10 proposing four changes to state and local government structure and operation. The first proposal changes the regular sessions for the Legislature from March to January on even-numbered years. The measure also created the Office of Domestic […]

Voters passed Amendment 10 proposing four changes to state and local government structure and operation.

The first proposal changes the regular sessions for the Legislature from March to January on even-numbered years.

The measure also created the Office of Domestic Security and Counter-Terrorism within the Department of Law Enforcement and requires the Legislature to provide for a Department of Veterans Affairs within the executive branch.

The last proposal passed by the measure ensures elections for the county offices of sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections, and clerk of the circuit court.

The changes relating to the election of county officers will take effect January 5, 2021, except for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties which will take in January 7, 2025.

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November 7, 2018 •

Florida Passes Revolving Door Ban

Voters approved Amendment 12, titled Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers. The amendment expands restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers, former justices, and judges. Effective December 31, 2022 the measure bans state and local officials […]

Voters approved Amendment 12, titled Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers.

The amendment expands restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers, former justices, and judges.

Effective December 31, 2022 the measure bans state and local officials from lobbying for a period of six years after leaving public office.

The prohibition includes individuals serving as a statewide elected officer, member of the Legislature, a county commissioner, school superintendent or board member, elected municipal officer, and the agency head of an executive branch department of the state government.

The measure also prohibits abuse of a public position to obtain a personal benefit.

The Legislature will establish penalties for violations of the prohibition against abuse of a public position to take effect December 31, 2020.

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September 27, 2018 •

Hillsborough County School District to Hold Special Runoff Election

A special runoff election will be held on November 6 to fill the remainder of Susan Valdes’s term on the Hillsborough County School Board. Her resignation for the District 1 seat is effective in November. Former Hillsborough County School District […]

A special runoff election will be held on November 6 to fill the remainder of Susan Valdes’s term on the Hillsborough County School Board.

Her resignation for the District 1 seat is effective in November.

Former Hillsborough County School District administrator Bill Person will face construction industry executive Steve Cona III in the special runoff election.

The winner will complete the remainder of Valdes’s four-year term.

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July 9, 2018 •

Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics Names New Executive Director

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust selected Jose J. Arrojo as its new executive director. Arrojo is currently a Chief Assistant State Attorney and will be the third director of the commission since it was created in 1996. […]

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust selected Jose J. Arrojo as its new executive director.

Arrojo is currently a Chief Assistant State Attorney and will be the third director of the commission since it was created in 1996.

Arrojo, will assume the post when Joseph Centorino steps down at the end of August.

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June 22, 2018 •

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Approves Lobbyist Registration Policy

The Board of Governors for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation unanimously approved a new policy requiring lobbyist registration. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis asked the board last month to create a registration and disclosure process at the corporation similar to […]

The Board of Governors for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation unanimously approved a new policy requiring lobbyist registration.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis asked the board last month to create a registration and disclosure process at the corporation similar to executive branch requirements.

Effective September 1, lobbyists will be required to register by a new online system before communicating with a member of the board or an employee of the corporation outside of a public meeting.

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April 17, 2018 •

Florida Proposal Restricting Lobbying and Abuse of Office Placed on November Ballot

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission voted to place a six-year revolving door restriction directly on the November general election ballot. Proposal 6007 would also ban state and local officials from lobbying the Legislature, executive branch, and the federal government while […]

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission voted to place a six-year revolving door restriction directly on the November general election ballot.

Proposal 6007 would also ban state and local officials from lobbying the Legislature, executive branch, and the federal government while in office.  If approved by 60 percent of voters, the lobbying ban will take effect December 31, 2022.

The proposal would also prohibit public officials from abusing their position to obtain a disproportionate benefit.

The Commission on Ethics will be responsible for defining the term disproportionate benefit, prescribing the requisite intent for finding a violation, and enforcing the prohibition against the abuse of a public position.

The new ethics rule will take effect December 31, 2020, if passed by 60 percent of voters.

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March 21, 2018 •

Florida Revolving Door Proposal One Step Closer to November Ballot

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) is one step closer to placing an ethics proposal on the November ballot. Proposal 39, creating an extended waiting period for state and local officials seeking to lobby after leaving office, was approved as […]

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) is one step closer to placing an ethics proposal on the November ballot.

Proposal 39, creating an extended waiting period for state and local officials seeking to lobby after leaving office, was approved as amended.

The proposal prohibits state and local officials from lobbying their former departments, agencies, or governing bodies for six years after leaving office. Such persons would also be prohibited from lobbying any federal agency or any state or local body or agency during their respective terms of office.

Upon approval, the measure advanced, along with seven other proposals, to the Style and Drafting Committee. The committee has the authority to revise and combine proposals prior to a final vote by the full commission.

To be placed on the November 6 ballot, the proposal will need support from at least 22 commission members.

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March 19, 2018 •

Florida Constitution Revision Commission to Consider Revolving Door Amendment

Once every 20 years, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) convenes for the purpose of reviewing the state’s Constitution and proposing changes for voter consideration. The CRC travels around the state for approximately one year to identify issues, perform research, […]

Once every 20 years, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) convenes for the purpose of reviewing the state’s Constitution and proposing changes for voter consideration. The CRC travels around the state for approximately one year to identify issues, perform research, and propose constitutional amendments.

This year, the CRC is considering 37 amendments, including one related to ethics reform. The proposal, known as P-39, establishes a revolving door provision prohibiting lawmakers from lobbying local, state, and federal officials during their terms of office and prohibiting them from lobbying the Legislature and state agencies for six years after leaving office.

Similar waiting periods would apply to appointed officials as well as officials locally elected. Current law imposes a two-year waiting period and applies only to legislators and state officers or employees.

P-39 will be considered by the full CRC this week.

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March 12, 2018 •

Florida Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The Florida Legislature adjourned sine die on Sunday, March 11 after extending its annual session for several days to pass a state budget. Lawmakers approved an $88.7 billion budget with $21 billion allocated for public schools. Some of the funds […]

The Florida Legislature adjourned sine die on Sunday, March 11 after extending its annual session for several days to pass a state budget.

Lawmakers approved an $88.7 billion budget with $21 billion allocated for public schools.

Some of the funds were reserved for school resource officers and mental health counselors in response to last month’s mass shooting in Parkland.

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February 6, 2018 •

Tallahassee Commissioners Adopt Stricter Gifts Laws for City Officials

The city commission adopted changes to Tallahassee’s ethics rules, taking aim at improper interactions between elected officials and those seeking official action. Changes to the ordinance include a ban on city officials soliciting gifts from vendors and lobbyists and a […]

The city commission adopted changes to Tallahassee’s ethics rules, taking aim at improper interactions between elected officials and those seeking official action.

Changes to the ordinance include a ban on city officials soliciting gifts from vendors and lobbyists and a prohibition on city officials accepting gifts totaling more than $100 in a calendar year.

These changes are effective upon final passage.

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