The Democrat running for chief financial officer says it is time for Florida lawmakers to stop trusting lobbyists.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported last December that the Legislature was not following a 2005 law meant to give citizens a better idea of how much money was flowing into the Capitol. Lobbyists have been required for four years to file reports listing how much they get paid -- but the state has relied on an "honor system" regarding these reports, despite the fact that state law calls for random audits.
"I think it's outrageous the Legislature and Jeff Atwater have refused to follow the law," Ausley said. "We need to clean up the pay-to-play culture in Tallahassee. We need to hold lobbyists and politicians accountable."
Brian Hughes, a campaign spokesman for Atwater, said instead of constantly criticizing the Legislature, Ausley should tell voters what she plans to do if she is elected.
The audit requirement was included in the 2005 law that also banned gifts to lawmakers from lobbyists. The GOP-controlled Legislature, however, has disagreed on how to carry out the audit requirement and raised concerns about the cost. Plus, hardly any accounting firms have been willing to take on the audit work.
Former Senate President Tom Lee, who pushed for the law, says there's "bipartisan" blame to go around.
Read the entire Herald-Tribune article here.