November 17, 2014 •
Gov. Rick Scott has announced the dates for three special elections after state Sen. John Thrasher left his seat to become president of Florida State University. The other two elections are to fill the House seats of those seeking the […]
Gov. Rick Scott has announced the dates for three special elections after state Sen. John Thrasher left his seat to become president of Florida State University. The other two elections are to fill the House seats of those seeking the open Senate spot.
Special primary elections will be held on January 27, 2015, and the special general elections on April 7, 2015. The affected House districts are Districts 17 and 24, while Thrasher vacated the Senate District 6 seat.
June 24, 2014 •
Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 846 into law on Friday, June 20, 2014. The ethics bill takes effect July 1, 2014 and requires lobbyists at Florida’s five water management districts to register and file periodic reports with the Lobbyist […]
Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 846 into law on Friday, June 20, 2014. The ethics bill takes effect July 1, 2014 and requires lobbyists at Florida’s five water management districts to register and file periodic reports with the Lobbyist Registration Office of the Florida Legislature.
The original version of the bill would have required lobbyist registration for individuals seeking to influence any of the 136 independent special districts statewide. Such independent special districts include water management districts, hospital districts, and any other independent special district that exercises ad valorem taxing authority. The final version, however, only requires lobbyist registration for individuals seeking to influence Florida’s water management districts.
Rep. Kathleen Passidomo considered the original version of the bill too broad, thus revising the bill in committee to only impose lobbyist registration on water management districts. Passidomo has said if registration works smoothly at the water districts, the Legislature may consider requiring more special districts to register lobbyists.
May 6, 2013 •
State’s Medicaid expansion remains unresolved
The Florida Legislature adjourned Friday, May 3, 2013, without passing an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.
Governor Rick Scott has not indicated whether he will call a special session, or leave the issue unresolved until the next legislative session.
Photo of the Florida State Capitol building by Jenn Greiving on Wikipedia.
May 2, 2013 •
Campaign finance changes take effect later this year
Two major bills passed by the Florida Legislature were signed by Governor Rick Scott late on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. The bills make significant changes to the state’s ethics and campaign finance laws.
Senate Bill 2, the state’s ethics overhaul, becomes effective immediately upon becoming a law.
House Bill 569, the campaign finance bill, takes effect November 1, 2013, except for the provisions eliminating committees of continuous existence (CCEs). CCEs are prohibited from accepting contributions after August 1, 2013, and their certification will be revoked as of September 30, 2013. Additionally, the bill requires the Division of Elections to present a proposal for mandatory electronic filing to the legislature by December 1, 2013.
April 25, 2013 •
Increased disclosures and contribution limits
The Florida House and Senate reached a compromise on contribution limits, passing a comprehensive campaign finance bill.
The major changes in the bill include:
- Elimination of committees of continuous existence;
- Requiring weekly reporting by political committees and electioneering communications organizations beginning with the 60th day prior to a primary election and continuing until the 4th day before a general election, and daily reporting beginning with the 10th day before a general election;
- Increasing campaign contribution limits from $500 to $3,000 for a candidate for statewide office or retention as a justice of the state supreme court, and from $500 to $1,000 for a candidate for legislative office, retention as a judge of a district court of appeal, or circuit judge; and
- Elimination of limits on contributions to political committees.
The original bill increased all contribution limits from $500 to $10,000. At the beginning of debate on the bill, House Speaker Will Weatherford tweeted, “today is meet me halfway day.”
While critics argue the bill doesn’t go far enough and too many loopholes remain, Senator Jack Latvala, chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, said the goal is transparency. He contends money in politics isn’t going anywhere, so the best the legislature can do is require disclosure.
The bill now awaits action by Governor Rick Scott.
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