Friday, June 20, 2014

Integrity Florida Statement on Gov. Scott Signing Ethics Reform Bill

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (June 20, 2014- Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill (SB 846) that makes incremental improvements to the state's ethics laws.     

"It's encouraging that for the second year in a row, the governor and legislature have advanced anti-corruption measures aimed at improving public trust in government," said Dan Krassner, executive director of the nonpartisan research institute and government watchdog group Integrity Florida. "While more work will be needed in the future to take on corruption, state lawmakers are moving in the right direction.

Integrity Florida applauds Governor Scott for signing the bill, Senator Jack Latvala for sponsoring the legislation, and Representative Kathleen Passadomo and Representative Jim Boyd for advancing it through the Florida House of Representatives. Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford delivered on their Work Plan 2014 promise to continue to improve Florida's ethics laws.

Integrity Florida is grateful for the collaborative efforts of our coalition partners in support of this ethics reform measure, including Common Cause Florida, The Tea Party Network, the First Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Awareness Foundation."

SB 846 contains the following ethics law improvements:
  • Allows the Florida Commission on Ethics to independently begin investigations when officials fail to file financial disclosure reports;
  • Requires lobbyist disclosure at the state's water management districts;
  • Requires annual ethics training for elected city officials; and
  • Applies portions of the state ethics code to Enterprise Florida and Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

SB 846 passed the Florida Senate unanimously by a vote of 38-0 onMay 2. The Florida House of Representatives approved the measure unanimously 118-0 on May 1

The new law takes effect on July 1, 2014.