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Bill Summary Details

Prohibition of Public Funds for Lobbying (Oppose)

HB 501 (Gregory) prohibits local governments and school districts from using public funds to retain a lobbyist for purposes of lobbying the state legislative or executive branch. The bill prohibits lobbyists from accepting public funds for such purposes. Full-time employees of the local government or school district are excluded from the prohibition. The bill prohibits a not-for-profit organization that accepts public funds from the state specialty license plate program from retaining a lobbyist to represent the organization before the state executive or legislative branch. The bill specifies penalties for violations and authorizes any Florida resident to bring a civil action for injunctive relief to enforce the bill's provisions. Persons prevailing in such civil actions are entitled to recover attorney fees and costs. The bill authorizes any Florida resident to file a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics for alleged violations. (O'Hara)