League of Women Voters of Florida Responds to Today's Passage of Ethics, Campaign Finance Bills
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tallahassee, FL-- Today, the Florida House took positive steps forward in the area of ethics reform via passage of SB 2. Meanwhile, the Senate moved in the opposite direction by passing a campaign finance bill (HB 569) that significantly increases campaign contributions, undermining the voices of Main Street Floridians.
According to LWVF President Deirdre Macnab, "Today's passage of SB 2 represents the most significant effort at ethics reform in 37 years in Florida. Among the many positive improvements made by the bill are: an increased ability for the Ethics Commission to collect fines that are owed, a requirement that financial disclosure forms to be put online where the public can easily review them, and stronger safeguards against elected officials utilizing their public office for personal financial gain."
Conversely, the League is disappointed by the campaign finance bill passed by the Senate today. Macnab elaborates, "While we might agree that the bill has some important provisions, the League believes that the bad aspects of this proposal sadly outweigh the good. Raising the limits on campaign contributions not only reduces the likelihood of contributions from ordinary Florida voters, it also has been show to reduce voter turnout, something that Florida can ill afford. Components of this bill include a six-fold increase in amount of money that statewide candidates can accept from individuals and corporations, and a two-fold increase for other candidates. This is not only unnecessary in light of the staggering amount of money that already floods our political process, but it also drowns out the voices of average citizens. The League echoes the sentiments of Governor Scott on this issue, who stated, 'No one has shown me a rationale for raising these limits, so I don't know why we would be doing it.'"
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