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Future Senate leaders’ political committees went quiet during Legislative Session

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Innovate Florida, state Sen. Bill Galvano’s political committee, spent a quiet April on the fundraising front while the Legislative Session concluded. It collected exactly $0.

This after amassing $494,200 during the first three months of the year and $6.2 million since 2013, according to state records.

Sen. Wilton Simpson’s Jobs for Florida committee’s fundraising took a breather, too, but spent $45,203 on consultants.

Legislators must cease fundraising during session, but the restriction doesn’t apply to their political committees, a Department of State spokeswoman said.

Galvano, a Republican from Bradenton, is in line to become Senate president following the 2018 elections. Simpson, a Trilby Republican, is next in line.

Galvano’s committee spent $278,256, including an $80,000 contribution to GOP consultant Randy Nielsen’s Free Speech PAC. The committee gave $75,000 to the Citizens First PAC and $50,000 to Taxpayers in Action PAC.

In the past, Galvano’s committee’ contributors have included the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Power and Light, the Florida Hospital Association and Altria Client Services.

The committee has around $1.2 million cash in hand.

Of Simpson’s committee’s expensese, all but $2,000 went to Tallahassee’s Capitol Finance Consulting. His committee has raised nearly $238,000 thus far this year.

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.

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