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Jayer Williamson by Phil Sears)

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Gift ban exemption gets House companion

Jayer Williamson filed the House version on Tuesday.

State Rep. Jayer Williamson is sponsoring a bill that would provide for some exceptions in the state’s lobbying gift ban.

Current law prohibits state employees from accepting gifts or services valued at more than $100 from any lobbyists, as well as employees at companies that have a lobbyist working for them in the Capitol.

Disallowing the practice has caused problems for some employees when they face extreme financial circumstances, such as being diagnosed with a serious illness.

HB 1435 would suspend the ban for if a state employee or their child is diagnosed with such an illness, or if they are in a severe accident that causes them to incur substantial medical bills.

The legislation is similar to a bill filed by Senate Budget Chief Rob Bradley last week.

Bradley’s bill (SB 1490) would open the door for state employees to accept outside help if they are diagnosed with any condition which “causes significant functional impairment requiring care and treatment for an extended period of time.”

Acute medical emergencies are also included via a “serious bodily injury” clause, which opens the door for employees to accept help after car accidents or other physical trauma.

Bradley’s bill has been referred to the Senate Ethics and Elections, Governmental Oversight and Accountability and Rules committees.

Williamson’s bill, filed Tuesday, has not yet received any committee references.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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