Legislature increases financial disclosure requirements for city, county elected officials
The week-long civics lesson includes a speech from Gov. DeSantis.

Florida State Capitol Building
The House passed the measure Wednesday after the Senate OK'd it earlier this month.

Expanded financial disclosure requirements for Mayors, other city officials and special district board members are one step closer to becoming law after House lawmakers approved the measure.

The final House vote Wednesday was 113-2, with only Reps. Christine Hunschofsky, a Parkland Democrat, and Mike Gottlieb, a Davie Democrat, voting against it.

The bill will next head to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Senate voted 35-5 in favor of SB 774 earlier this month.

The bill would require city and local government elected officials to reveal their entire net worth, including income sources, assets, property and business ownership, and debts. Those are the same rules that the Governor, Cabinet officials and state lawmakers must follow.

Currently local officials are only required to disclose the sources of their income and business interests, but not specific dollar amounts. The new requirements would take effect Jan. 1, 2024.

An earlier version of the House bill (HB 37) would have applied to County and City Managers as well, but some lawmakers pushed back on that provision because they are unelected.

Other parts of the bill increase the maximum fine the Florida Commission on Ethics can issue from $10,000 to $20,000 and allow that board to dismiss complaints arising from random audits of lobbying firms.

The House also passed HB 199, which imposes increased ethics training requirements on elected special district officials starting in 2024. The measure stemmed from reports that Rod Colon, manager of the North Springs Improvement District in Broward, approved $16 million contracts for a company he owned.

Local government officials in non-charter counties would also be subject to a possible recall under a proposed ballot measure approved by the House on Wednesday. The House voted 113-1 in favor of HJR 131, with only Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby, a St. Petersburg Democrat, voting against it.

The Senate version of the measure (SJR 1066) has cleared two committees in that chamber and has one more committee hurdle before making it to the floor.

Gray Rohrer


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