DeSantis Signs Bill to Strengthen Anti-Lobbying Penalties

May 26, 2022 Updated 4:00 PM ET

desantis signing

May 26, 2022 Updated 4:00 P.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills Wednesday that implement penalties for former lawmakers and former judges who illegally lobby certain government agencies within a certain time period. 

Current law said elected officials may not lobby for two years after leaving office. However, In 2018 Floridians passed an amendment that bans lobbying by certain public officers during public service and for six years after leaving office. The amendment takes effect on Dec. 31st, 2022. 

Penalties include a $10,000 fine, public censure and reprimand, and forfeiting pecuniary benefits received from violating the ban. 

Former public officials could not lobby the State Legislature and the executive branch. The bill defines “lobby” as a means to influence through oral, written, or electronic communication. 

Exceptions include if a former lawmaker appears to offer testimony under oath or to provide information at the request of a committee chair.

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