Florida House Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran is determined to rein in lobbyist influence on lawmakers, as evidenced by his speech to fellow legislators at his Wednesday designation ceremony.
Corcoran, a Land O’Lakes Republican and current House budget chief, was formally selected to be the House of Representatives leader for 2016-18.
“We must close the revolving door between the Legislature and the lobby corps,” Corcoran said. “We need to restore the distance between those who seek to influence the laws and those of us who make the laws.”
Corcoran, whose brother Michael is a prominent state lobbyist, called for a constitutional amendment banning “any state elected official from lobbying the legislative or executive branch for a period of six years.”
Corcoran singled out healthcare lobbyists in Tallahassee during his closing remarks on the budget this April, calling them “Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interest powers.”
Corcoran also wants to toughen lobbyist registration rules by requiring lobbyists to specifically “disclose which bills, which amendments and which appropriations they are trying to influence.”
“Other states require such disclosure,” he said. “It’s time Florida does too.”
He said he will also push legislation “banning elected officials from taking jobs in government, unless elected by the people, for a period of six years after they leave office” and forbidding lawmakers from taking a “a job while in office with any company or group that receives any funding from the state, directly or indirectly.”
In his remarks, Corcoran took on the judicial branch, pushing a proposal for 12-year term limits for all judges.
The Republican-controlled Legislature has long battled with the state Supreme Court over what they perceive to be the overly-liberal interpretations of law by most of its justices.
“No public office – be it state representative, Governor or judge – should be for life,” Corcoran said in the speech.