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House passes ethics bill, part 2 of the grand compromise

The Florida House unanimously passed an ethics bill on Wednesday that tightens rules on elected officials and was hailed by lawmakers as landmark reform.

The measure will be sent directly to the Senate, which passed its version on the first day of the legislative session, as the Senate sends the House the campaign finance bill. 

“I believe this bill will raise the ethical standard for all elected officials in the state of Florida,’’ said House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.

Among the provisions

  • imposes a two-year ban on legislators from becoming executive branch lobbyists
  • allows legislators to accept honorarium under the state’s gift ban
  • loosens limits on dual employment that existed in previous versions of the bill -- exempting legislators if several criteria are all met – such as having the job publicly advertised and being qualified for the job.
  • Increases the time violators can be held accountable for their fines from four to 20 years.

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