Republican Rep. Manny Diaz of Hialeah Gardens has filed a bill that would prevent entities who receive funding from Florida’s government from suing the state using those taxpayer dollars.
The Hialeah Gardens Republican says that he is not seeking to limit access to the courts for these organizations, but rather simply seeking a commonsense accountability measure.
“It is illogical that taxpayers can foot the bill when an organization sues the state.” said Diaz in a statement on Wednesday. “We need to hold all groups accountable: fiscally and ethically.”
A separate provision of the bill would require that any group receiving more than a quarter of its annual revenue from state-funded sources must annually submit all revenue, salaries and benefits of its employees and officers, litigation expenses, and description of its political activity.
Diaz’s bill, HB 549, is matched by Lakeland Sen. Kelli Stargel‘s SB 1114. Though the language is not yet identical, the pair of lawmakers has indicated their desire to make the bills comport with one another during the legislative process.
The House version has been referred to the Government Operations Subcommittee, Appropriations and State Affairs. Stargel’s bill has yet to receive committees of reference.