The Florida Amendment Series: Amendment 12
Bottom Line: This is the eleventh in a twelve-part series covering Florida’s proposed constitutional amendments. Amendments can be confusing enough to understand but furthering the confusion, while there were originally thirteen amendments scheduled for November’s ballot, a court ruling knocked the 8th off of the ballot. For that reason, you’ll see amendments 1 through 7 and 9 through 13. Each proposed amendment requires a minimum of 60% support to pass. Here’s how it will appear on the ballot:
BALLOT TITLE: Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers
BALLOT SUMMARY: Expands current restrictions on lobbying for compensation by former public officers; creates restrictions on lobbying for compensation by serving public officers and former justices and judges; provides exceptions; prohibits abuse of a public position by public officers and employees to obtain a personal benefit.
What changes if passed:
- Expands ethics rules for many additional public officials/employees – elected and unelected
- Prohibits public employees from using their positions for personal gain
Thoughts: After a bunch of bundled amendment proposals, Amendment 12 is one of the most congruent of the proposals. Currently under Florida law, lobbying by former government employees is banned for two years after they’ve existed their position. If this passes that’s expanded to six years. There are also a number of specific rules that’d be added that aimed at closing loopholes that may be potentially exploited by public sector employees for personal benefit. More specifically, there’s language indicating that there can’t be any “disproportionate” benefit for any individual personally, any family member or their business(es).
If you’re into lobbying, you’ll not like this if passed. If you’re not, you’d probably want to see this pass. I recommend voting yes on Amendment 12.