Thursday, October 15, 2009

House Democratic Leader Responds To Call For Statewide Grand Jury

Florida House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands (D-Weston) issued the following statement in response to Governor Charlie Crist’s call for a statewide grand jury on corruption by public officials.

“I am encouraged by Governor Crist’s expression of concern about the conduct of some public officials throughout Florida, and I endorse his call for a statewide grand jury to investigate criminal activities among those who serve in government.

“I urge the governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to move expeditiously and approve during the 2010 legislative session measures to prevent wrongdoing by public officials and restore the public’s confidence in their government.

“Various recommendations have already been proposed. One worthy idea has been offered by state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald (D-Sarasota) and state Sen. Dan Gelber (D-Miami Beach) to amend the state constitution to reform the Legislature’s appropriations process.

“The proposal these Democratic state lawmakers have offered would require all budget deliberations be done in public and with sufficient advance notice so that the people and the press can witness how the budget is written and what it includes. In addition, the amendment would require that the state’s spending plan is written in plain language to be understandable to the average citizen. It would also require three-fourths of the House or Senate to approve amendments filed in the last five days of a session, in an attempt to end the temptation for legislators to load legislation with favors for special interests and political donors.”

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