Chances look good for anti-corruption bill in Florida Legislature

Florida governor’s mansion and state capitol building. Credit MGN

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – An anti-corruption bill intended to end what a grand jury called a “corruption tax” in Florida appears headed for passage.

Senate Bill 582 passed the last of its three committee hearings in the Senate Tuesday and will now go to a vote on the Senate floor. A companion measure has already passed the House.

The legislation redefines public corruption to make it easier to prosecute.

Niceville Republican Sen. Don Gaetz says the bill implements some of the recommendations of a 2010 statewide grand jury on public corruption. The grand jury said Floridians pay millions in extra taxes, fees and highway tolls because of the costs of official misconduct.

A broader bill by Gaetz that also includes tougher ethics laws for public officials and government contractors still faces more committee hurdles.

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