The House gave final passage Tuesday (before it abruptly adjourned) to a bill that creates a narrow exception to the notorious 2006 lobbyist gift ban. The bill (SB 984) by Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, clarifies the law that a legislator using a public facility for a public purpose such as a town hall meeting is not a violation of the lobbyist gift ban. A number of legislators also have rent-free office space from cities or counties that lobby the Legislature.
The Senate rules and the House administrative policy manual both require approval by the Senate president or House speaker before a legislator can use government property. The bill removes the requirement.
The House vote was 119-0. The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.
--STEVE BOUSQUET, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau