Anti-Democratic Ethics Bill Becomes Law, Allowing Corruption to Go Unchallenged

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Friday, June 21,  Governor DeSantis signed a dangerous ethics bill into law that will make it almost impossible for Floridians’ to file ethics complaints against government officials who violate the public trust.

The law will also create harmful new restrictions on local ethics boards, like the ones in Miami and Tallahassee, which will no longer be able to pursue self-initiated investigations from anonymous credible whistleblowers.

The law will go into effect July 1.

In response, Amy Keith, executive director of Common Cause Florida issued the following statement:

“This law undermines the will of the people and will allow corruption to go unchallenged.

“Let’s be clear: This has never been about minimizing frivolous complaints; this is about making complaints almost impossible.

“If this was truly about minimizing frivolous complaints, then these changes to Florida’s ethics laws could have been introduced in committee and the public provided with the opportunity to be part of the deliberative process. Instead, these changes, which are designed to paralyze ethics complaints against public officials who have violated the public trust, were introduced at the last minute.

“The people of Florida deserve better. We deserve accountability and transparency and the right to demand it of officials.

“The Governor and Florida Legislators who voted in favor and signed off on this new law failed to protect the integrity of our democracy. Instead, they chose to hide from accountability and silence the voices of Floridians who are trying to uphold our collective values.

“Governor DeSantis says he believes that Floridians deserve protection from corruption, but his actions today speak otherwise. 

“Common Cause Florida will continue to defend and strengthen the core democratic structures and tools that enable the people of Florida to mobilize and hold their leaders accountable.”