From Aaron Deslatte at the Orlando Sentinel —
TALLAHASSEE – Florida lobbyists have enjoyed little scrutiny in reporting what they’re paid to ply their trade with lawmakers and governors since a law was enacted seven years ago requiring the public disclosure. That free ride may be coming to an end.
Senate President Don Gaetz a Niceville Republican who pressed for new prohibitions on lawmakers becoming lobbyists last spring, now wants the Legislature to make good on a never-enforced requirement that lobbying firms be subjected to random audits.
Gaetz said Monday he had asked the Senate’s general counsel to work with the House to determine how to kick-start the audits.
“It was to provide a window into the amounts of money spent lobbying by whom and for what. Unless the statute is repealed, I think we have an obligation to follow the law,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz said the main holdup may be whether the Legislature has budget authority to begin the audits, or whether it would have to wait until the next fiscal year to launch them.