- Raise campaign contribution limits.
- Eliminate certain political committees.
- Require candidates to file campaign finance reports more frequently. Senate Committee Chairman Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) and Representative Schenck are working to iron out the differences between the two bills.
Elections Reform – On the first day of the annual legislative session, House members approved HB 7013 by the House Ethics & Elections Committee which would make improvements to Florida’s elections laws. The bill authorizes:
- Increases in early voting days from eight to fourteen.
- Allows for more locations for early voting sites.
- Sets a 75-word limit on proposed ballot summaries to constitutional amendments.
The companion, SB 600 by Senator Latvala, covers many of the same provisions as the House bill and is making its way through the committee process.
Ethics Reform – Also on the first day of the session, the Senate passed SB 2 by the Senate Ethics & Elections Committee. It gives the Florida Commission on Ethics more authority, strengthens prohibitions against legislators becoming lobbyists after leaving office, and requires financial disclosure reports be posted on-line. The House of Representatives’ Ethics and Elections Committee is considering similar legislation in a proposed committee bill.
Pension Reform – The House and Senate have two distinct approaches to address House Speaker Will Weatherford’s top priority. Speaker Weatherford wants to close the Florida Retirement System’s pension plan to new employees and put them into 401k-type plans. Representative Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) sponsors the proposal in the House, HB 7011. The Senate proposal, SB 1392 by Senator Wilton Simpson (R-New Port Richey), would make the change voluntary for most new employees, requiring it only for the state’s department heads and senior managers.