Florida Government Sunshine Laws, Amendment 1 (1976)

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The Florida Government Sunshine Laws Amendment, also known as Amendment 1, was an initiated constitutional amendment on the November 2, 1976 ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

This amendment created Article II, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution to require full public disclosure by state and county elected officials and candidates for financial interests and campaign finances. It requires that there be an independent commission (the Commission on Ethics) to investigate complaints concerning breaches of public trust by public officers and employees other than judges.[1]

The measure was also the first successful constitutional initiative in Florida history.

Election results

Florida Amendment 1 (1976)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,765,626 79.26%
No461,94020.74%

Election results via: ICPSR

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution relating to Ethics in Government; providing that a public office is a public trust; requiring certain public officials and candidates to file full and public disclosure of financial interests and campaign finances; providing that public officers and employees who breach the public trust for private gain shall be liable to the state for benefits obtained; providing that public officers and employees convicted of a felony involving breach of trust shall be subject to forfeiture of pension; prohibiting certain past and present public officers from representing clients for compensation before certain public agencies; providing for an independent commission to investigate and report on complaints; providing for a schedule of filing dates and information.[2][3]

Constitutional changes

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE INITIATIVE ARTICLE II, SECTION 8

Section 8. Ethics in Government. A public office is a public trust. The people shall have the right to secure and sustain that trust against abuse. To assure this right:

(a) All elected constitutional officers and candidates for such offices and, as may be determined by law, other public officers, candidates, and employees shall file full and public disclosure of their financial interests.

(b) All elected public officers and candidates for such offices shall file full and public disclosure of their campaign finances.

(c) Any public officer or employee who breaches the public trust for private gain and any person or entity inducing such breach shall be liable to the state for all financial benefits obtained by such actions. The manner of recovery and additional damages may be provided by law.

(d) Any public officer or employee who is convicted of a felony involving a breach of public trust shall be subject to forfeiture of rights and privileges under a public retirement system or pension plan in such manner as may be provided by law.

(e) No member of the legislature or statewide elected officer shall personally represent another person or entity for compensation before the government body or agency of which the individual was an officer or member for a period of two years following vacation of office. No member of the legislature shall personally represent another person or entity for compensation during term of office before any state agency other than judicial tribunals. Similar restrictions on other public officers and employees may be established by law.

(f) There shall be an independent commission to conduct investigations and make public reports on all complaints concerning breach of public trust by public officers or employees not within the jurisdiction of the judicial qualification s commission.

(g) This section shall not be construed to limit disclosures and prohibitions which may be established by law to preserve the public trust and avoid conflicts between public duties and private interests.

(h) Schedule. On the effective date of this amendment and until changed by law:

(1) Full and public disclosure of financial interests shall mean filing with the secretary of state by July 1 of each year a sworn statement showing net worth and identifying each asset and liability in excess of $1,000 and its value together with one of the following:

a. A copy of the person’s most recent federal income tax return; or

b. A sworn statement which identifies each separate source and amount of income which exceeds $1,000. The forms for such source disclosure and the rules under which they are to be filed shall be prescribed by the independent commission established in subsection (f), and such rules shall include disclosure of secondary sources of income.

(2) Persons holding statewide elective offices shall also file disclosure of their financial interests pursuant to subsection (h)(1).

(3) The independent commission provided for in subsection (f) shall mean the Florida Commission on Ethics.[2]

See also

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External links

References

  1. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. REFERENDA AND PRIMARY ELECTION MATERIALS [Computer file]. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1995. doi:10.3886/ICPSR00006.v1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Florida Constitutional Revision Commission, "Amendments, Election of 11-2-76"
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.