Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ethics Training for elected officials - New requirements

Getting the training and continuing education you need has never been easier! You may be aware of the new state law requiring all elected municipal officers to receive four (4) hours of ethics-specific training. FLC University is offering the state-required Continuing Education in Ethics at NO COST to members.

This law went into on effect January 1, 2015, and no prior training will be counted. Only training taken after January 1 and within the calendar year will count toward the requirement. FLC University will be providing both online and in-person courses to meet the requirement. 
There will be no charge to attend if the individual is an elected official of an FLC-member municipality. The law specifies that the four hours be taught with these components:
» Two hours of Florida Ethics Law (Chapter 112, Florida Statutes)
» One hour of Open Meetings (Chapter 286, Florida Statutes)
» One hour of Open Records (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes) 
Every local league (and city if they are not in a local league) will have the opportunity to schedule a regional workshop that offers the hours of ethics-specific training now required for each city official under Chapter 112. 3142, Florida Statutes. The way that this will be documented is there will be, as of January 2016, a box on the municipal (Form 1) financial disclosure filing document that indicates the continuing education has been completed.
It will be the responsibility of the municipal officer (includes elected clerks, police chiefs) to keep records on the completion of these courses. 
If a person is elected for the first time in the first months of the year, they have until 2016 to complete the continuing education. The FLC is not the only provider of this training, but we do want to make sure that all our members have the opportunity to receive this information free of charge either locally or at the annual and legislative conferences.

We are planning on holding as many of these courses throughout the state as requested. We are partnering with the Local and Regional Leagues to provide the events at no cost to members, and are also planning to make this training available via webinars in March. 
Upcoming Regional Workshops (click on location desired)
February 7 - Winter Haven
February 11 - Port St. Lucie
February 26 - Crestview
March 13 - Lake County
March 16 - Tallahassee
April 23 - Panama City Beach
April 29 - Vero Beach
May 21 - Winter Park
June 17 - Lake Worth 
In conjunction with the John Scott Dailey Institute of Government, the League also offers online continuing education in ethics for local elected officials throughout the year.

For more information about continuing education in ethics, contact Carol Westmoreland at or (850) 701-3608.