Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Lobbyists are still trying to overturn Florida’s ethics law

One thing for sure, you can always count on lobbyists……to protect themselves, that is.  Just 3 short years ago, Florida passed one of the toughest ethics laws in the nation. The law bans gifts to legislators and requires lobbyists to file reports disclosing who hired them and how much they are being paid.  If a lobbyist doesn’t comply or someone complains to the Legislature, lawmakers can investigate and punish lobbyists with up to a two-year suspension and a $5,000 fine. 

Lobbyists originally sued saying that requiring them to disclose their employers violated privacy and equal protection rights guaranteed by the Constitution.  However, federal courts disagreed with that but did decide that the Florida Supreme Court needed to rule on whether the law violated the Florida Constitution.  

So here the lobbyists are (with their Statewide association) – in the Florida Supreme Court.  They made their arguments yesterday according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, but some members of the Florida Supreme Court seemed unconvinced. 

Thank goodness for that.  Just what we don’t need in these days of Ray Sansoms is a return to the days of free drinks, free dinners and legislative gossip at the Silver Slipper in Tallahassee. 

The Florida Supreme Court should be issuing an opinion soon.


Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , ,

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