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House committee votes to revive leadership funds

The House State Affairs Committee today voted, 9-5, to recommended that the full chamber vote override former Gov. Charlie Crist's veto of a controversial campaign finance bill that restores so-called leadership funds. (Here's the story about the veto.)

Committee Chairman Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland, said any opposition to the bill was from a "misunderstanding" of what the changes would accomplish. "There shouldn't be opposition to this bill," McKeel said.

"This is the first time we are having an opportunity to have full transparency in House and Senate party financing at the campaign level,'' McKeel said.

Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, acknowledged the bill was not perfect, but included important changes. That sparked Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, to question why GOP leaders wanted to override the veto instead of putting the proposal through the legislative process.

About one-third of the Florida House includes new members who did not debate the bills Crist vetoed.

"We have a chance to make this a better bill," Clemens said.

Background on veto overrides here.