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lobbyist gift ban

Bills would delete lobbying-firm audit requirement

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In November a group of legislators reviewing the first-ever audits of lobbying firm income started to wonder why they were doing it. “I don’t understand how the public’s interest is advanced by this exercise,” said state Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who sits on the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee. “I just don’t see how this information is relevant” other than being a “marketing tool for big lobbying firms.” Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that now legislation (HB 4065/SB 1636) filed for the 2016…

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Auditing panel muses whether lobbyists should be audited

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A panel of state lawmakers going over the first-ever audits of lobbying firm income on Monday started bringing up a common question: Why are we doing this? “I may be an outlier … (but) I don’t understand how the public’s interest is advanced by this exercise,” said state Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who sits on the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee. “I just don’t see how this information is relevant,” he said, other than being a “marketing tool for big lobbying firms.” This was the…

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Lobbyist gift ban exemption passed swiftly in Senate panel

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One of several bills making tweaks to Florida’s austere prohibition on gifts, state Sen. Oscar Braynon‘s SB 984, was granted an easy passage Tuesday afternoon in the Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee. The proposal — which would allow public entities to let candidates and officials use public property like city halls and conference rooms without considering that an “expenditure” or in-kind contribution — was approved unanimously and now moves on to the Rules Committee. The bill’s hearing was a lighthearted…

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Associated Industries of Florida to host annual pre-Session blowout Monday night

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Session starts on Tuesday, which means three things for Monday: the drink, drop and dash fundraising frenzy before the 60-day curtain falls; last minute roommate arrangements; and the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) pre-Session welcome back reception for legislators, staff and politicos, drawing easily 2,000 attendees each year. Tallahassee reaches full capacity during March and April, bringing some welcome energy to local businesses: Session generates an estimated $2 million per week in economic impact for the city a figure which could prospectively…

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