State lawmakers were supposed to file annual financial-disclosure reports by July 1, and most completed the assignment on or close to the deadline.
But the 25 members — 16 Republicans and nine Democrats — who had outstanding paperwork as of Thursday morning still get a grace period until Sept. 1 before they could face fines. Those fines are $25 a day, with a cap of $1,500.
The forms require disclosure of estimated net worths, assets valued at more than $1,000, liabilities of more than $1,000 and information about income.
Of the reports filed, holding the top spot for wealth is Sen. George Gainer, a Panama City Republican who owns a fleet of auto dealerships in North Florida.
The former Bay County Commissioner, who cruised into state office in 2016, reported a $47.24 million net worth as of the end of 2019. That was up from $46.46 million the prior year.
Close behind is Rep. Ralph Massullo, a Lecanto Republican and dermatologist.
Massullo, also first elected to state office in 2016, reported a net worth of $46.1 million as of April 30. That was up from $42.4 million a year earlier.
Five legislators, all in the House, owe more than their assets, primarily because of home or student loans.
The reports also show that barring any major shake-up by voters, the House won’t be run by a millionaire the next two years, while the Senate will be headed by one of its wealthier members.
Rep. Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican, is slated to take over as House Speaker after the November elections, replacing Speaker José Oliva, a Republican from Miami Lakes. Oliva, whose wealth was built on a family cigar business, reported that he is exiting office with a $14.8 million net worth, down from $15.2 million in a report filed last year.
Sprowls, a lawyer, posted a net worth of $377,438 as of May 12, up from $351,632 in a report filed last year.
In the Senate, Trilby Republican Wilton Simpson is set to take over the helm in November as President Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican, leaves office.
Galvano, a lawyer, reported a net worth of $2.64 million. Simpson’s report put his net worth at nearly $33.4 million, up from $25.9 million in a report filed last year.
Since first being elected to the Senate in 2012, Simpson’s stake in Simpson Farms, an egg farm in Trilby, has increased in value from $8.78 million to $16.2 million.
Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.