A bill that would require certain municipal officials to file full financial disclosure forms advanced through a Senate committee Tuesday, leaving just one more stop to go before it moves to the Senate floor.
The Senate Community Affairs Committee unanimously OK’d a bill (SB 510) by Sen. Jason Brodeur of Sanford that would add mayors, commissioners and other local elected officials, as well as municipal managers, to the list of those required to file a Form 6 financial disclosure with the Florida Commission on Ethics.
The bill, to which Rep. Spencer Roach of Fort Myers filed a House companion, would apply the financial transparency strictures set forth in Article II, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution to elected municipal officials. State officials already are required to follow those rules.
Such an update is long overdue, according to Sen. Travis Hutson of Palm Coast, who spoke on behalf of the bill.
“These changes are supported by the Commission on Ethics and have been part of their legislative recommendation for several years now,” he said.
Full and public disclosures of financial interests, the state constitution says, means “filing with the custodian of state records by July 1 of each year a sworn statement showing net worth and identifying each asset and liability in excess of $1,000 of its value.”
Officials must also provide either a copy of their most recent federal income tax return or a sworn statement identifying each separate source and amount of income exceeding $1,000.
Florida Commission on Ethics Executive Director Kerrie Stillman and Americans for Prosperity-Florida Policy Director Phillip Suderman appeared in support of the bill, which now awaits a hearing before the Senate Rules Committee.
The identical House version (HB 301), which Roach filed the same day as Brodeur, was referred to the Public Integrity and Elections Committee, State Affairs Committee and Local Administration and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. None have taken the bill up yet.