Posts Tagged ‘Brian Pitts’

House committee advances lobbying ban; impeachment power for attorneys, public defenders

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Florida lawmakers advanced two key pieces of legislation through the House Thursday, including one to lengthen the period before elected officials could begin lobbying after their time in office.
The other bill would make state attorneys and public defenders in each judicial district eligible for impeachment under the governor’s power.
In an overwhelming vote, the House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee passed PCB PIE 17-01 and HJR 999, though there was thorough debate by both the public and committee members on each measure.
PCB PIE 17-01, which has yet to be given a bill number and was introduced by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, vice chair of the committee, leaps forward from two years to six years before a former Florida lawmaker can be compensated for through connections and inherent benefits legislators reap while employed in such positions.
The intention, Sullivan said, was to hedge off corruption while re-establishing integrity in elected officials. By waiting six years, those supposed connections in the Statehouse may no longer be there, she said.
“I think it’s really important that we instill trust in this process again,” she told the committee in closing the measure after debate. “I think we owe that to the (constituents).”
For years, corruption scandals have plagued Florida lawmakers, bringing about wide skepticism among the voters of the Sunshine State.
Rep. Chuck Clemons, Sr., agreed with the amendment in debate, referencing the widespread practice of lawmakers becoming lobbyists on behalf of special interest groups due to the close connections they typically still have after leaving office.
“How do you stop the revolving door unless you stop the revolving door,” he said. “This is the ‘kill the certain perks’ bill. This is the ‘no longer fresh’ bill. You’re serving because you believe in the rock bottom idea that you are serving to serve, not to gain anything.”
But Rep. David Richardson, while in favor of the measure, had concerns it

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