Senator Paula Dockery, District 15 — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2011
CONTACT: Rachel Perrin Rogers, 850.487.5040
Dan Barrow, 386.736.5100
Senator Dockery and Representative Costello file Ethical Practices Act of 2012
Tallahassee, FL — Senator Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland) and Representative Fred Costello (R-Ormond Beach) have filed the “Ethical Practices Act of 2012” pertaining to public disclosure by state legislators.
Filed as Senate Bill 552 and House Bill 359, the Act is an effort that seeks to prohibit legislators from voting upon, participating in or attempting to influence the passage of any legislation that would result in their enjoying any special private gain for themselves or their relatives. The legislation requires a lawmaker to publicly state their own interest, or that of a close relative, in any legislation in which they would derive such a gain or loss. This is a clear recommendation of the Statewide Grand Jury on Public Corruption.
Currently, state senators can vote on any matter in which they, a family member, or business holds an interest, even if they would derive a benefit from the legislation being signed into law; they need only disclose such an interest within 15 days after casting their vote on the legislation. The House of Representatives has stricter guidelines, found in House Rule 3.2.
Senator Dockery has filed this important legislation for five consecutive years. “Given the public’s justifiable lack of trust and confidence in elected officials throughout the country, it is imperative that reforms of this nature be enacted,” said Senator Dockery. “The Florida Legislature must take action to ensure that our state is at the forefront of initiatives helping to restore citizens’ faith in government.”
“I am pleased to be able to emphatically state that the men and women of the Florida Legislature are of the highest integrity. However, the current state of the law that permits legislators to vote upon and lobby for matters from which they and their family members will make money is inappropriate,” said Representative Costello. “It is no wonder that many Floridians have lost faith in elected officials. I am proud to sponsor The Ethical Practices Act of 2012, just as I did in 2011, because it will help restore the people’s appropriate and deserved faith in the government that is supposed to serve them, not legislators’ personal interests.”
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