Florida House Democrats Seek Bolder Campaign Finance Legislation

Feb 20 • 49 Views • View Comments

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Florida House Democrats Seek Bolder Campaign Finance Legislation
Major Improvements Needed To HB 569

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Seeking to shed more sunlight on campaign finances in Florida and to ensure greater integrity in the political process, Florida House Democratic Caucus members will propose revisions to a Republican-drawn bill that is set for a vote Thursday in the House Appropriations Committee.

Among recommendations to be offered by House Democrats are changes to House Bill 569 by Rep. Robert Schenck that would:

* Restore Florida’s current $500 contribution limit to candidates. The bill currently allows contributions of up to $10,000.

* Bar candidates from stockpiling excessive contributions. Specifically, House Democrats seek removal of a provision of HB 569 that would allow as much as a $100,000 carryover from one election cycle to the next.

* Allow streamlined disclosure of large numbers of small, uniform contributions but still require disclosure of all contributors. House Democrats believe such a change to the bill will enhance transparency by eliminating clutter in the reporting process while ensuring that Floridians still have complete information.

“Floridians deserve a meaningful campaign finance reform bill that provides transparency and makes a real attempt at limiting the influence of big-money interests in the public’s business,” said House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston, D-Plantation. “I believe that changes proposed by my Democratic colleagues will, if accepted, go a long way toward creating a strong bipartisan campaign reform plan. But without such improvements, I fear that the legislation falls far short of what’s needed to build public confidence.”

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