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Rick Scott emerges as critic of House campaign finance bill

TALLAHASSEE — A year after redistricting made legislative districts more competitive, the Florida House on Friday passed a campaign finance bill that raises contribution limits and appears to give incumbents a political advantage.

The 75-39 vote was mostly along party lines. Democrats say the measure — which raises the cap on political contributions and lets incumbents roll-over $20,000 toward the next election — gives Republicans more fundraising leverage because they control the Legislature.

"I can't support this blatant, brazen incumbent-protection plan," said Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg. "It ensures a small group of people will run for office."

Gov. Rick Scott's office criticized raising the cap on Friday, which put him at odds again with House Speaker Will Weatherford, who supports the bill. Earlier this week, the two clashed on supporting Scott's request for a $2,500-across-the-board teacher pay increase.

"Every time I've met with him, he's told me that he supports our bill, so that's news to me," Weatherford told reporters. "I think when he sees the wisdom of what we're trying to accomplish, he'll come around."

Read story here.


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