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Lobbying group wants a say in auditing process

With a joint legislative committee planning to discuss auditing lobbying firm compensation on Monday, the organization that represents Florida lobbyists has asked to add its voice to the discussion.  

In a letter to Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, the board of directors for the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists, requested that the group be allowed to "provide input and offer our assistance."  Download FAPL lobby comp ltr-4 (1)

The letter also states that the association's 350 members "have gone above and beyond what is required by Florida law and created and pledged to abide by a self-imposed code of conduct that is signed by and adhered to by each member of our organization." 

State law requires lobbying firms to file quarterly reports that list dollar ranges for how much they pay each client , but a requirement that reports get audited has never been enforced.

The association "stands ready to provide suggestions to the Legislature on ways to streamline the current regulations relating to lobbying including an online client registration process, electronic payment of registration fees and streamlined access to the Capitol predicated upon successful background checks.

The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee is scheduled to discuss the issue at a meeting at 1 p.m. Monday.

The association's board includes Chairman Hubert "Bo" Bohannon;  Vice Chairman David Mica, Secretary-Treasurer Michael Hightower; executive committee representatives Jose Gonzalez and Lori KillingerAndrea BeckerMichael W. CarlsonEric EikenbergCandice EricksPaula Fillmore-MateoSusan GoldsteinJennifer J. GreenFrederick Leonhardt; John Sebree; and John Wayne Smith.