September 16, 2013 •
House Speaker on board with proposal
Senate President Don Gaetz is calling for random audits of lobbying firm compensation reports. Gaetz says funding was never set aside for audits to be performed in the past, so he has asked the Senate general counsel to determine what powers the Legislature has to provide funding to conduct audits going forward.
House Speaker Will Weatherford has already indicated his support for the proposal.
April 26, 2013 •
Adds prohibitions on lobbying by former legislators
Perhaps the most talked-about piece of legislation this session, Senate Bill 2 was passed unanimously by both houses of the Florida Legislature.
The final ethics bill:
- Prohibits members of the legislature from acting as lobbyists for compensation before an executive branch agency, agency official, or employee for two years after leaving office. The version passed by the House eliminated an original provision preventing legislators from becoming lobbyists or principals of lobbying firms lobbying the legislature;
- Provides for a fine of up to $5,000 for executive branch lobbyists who fail to disclose required material facts as required or knowingly provide false information;
- Allows the Commission on Ethics to investigate whether a lobbyist has made a prohibited expenditure if a complaint is filed; and
- Prohibits vendors from providing gifts to a reporting individual or procurement employee for vendors doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency.
The ethics bill was a top priority of Senate President Don Gaetz. He called the bill his “proudest moment as a senator.” The bill was sent immediately to Governor Rick Scott, who has seven days to sign or veto the bill.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.