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Use of public space is no longer considered reportable lobbying expense

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Using public spaces no longer is something that elected officials and candidates have to worry about being a lobbying no-no.

Gov Rick Scott on Thursday signed into law SB 984, which makes clear that candidates and officials can use public property like city halls and conference rooms without having to list it as an “expenditure” or “in kind contribution” for purposes of the legislative lobbying ban.

The bill created a statutory exception in law to the definition of “expenditure”  for a “public-legislative use.” The exception provides that a “public-legislative use” is the “use of a public facility or public property that is made available by a governmental entity to a legislator for a public purpose, regardless of whether the governmental entity is required to register a person as a lobbyist pursuant to this section.”

This statutory exception does not include the requirement of approval by the presiding officers currently contained in both the Senate Rules and the Administrative Policy Manual for the House of Representatives.

The bill has a July 1 effective date.

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