Roach Files Bill Requiring Local Candidates to Disclose Finances

Roach Files Bill Requiring Local Candidates to Disclose Finances

Local politics is in for another change

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
October 14, 2021

It is safe to assume that Americans are losing trust in their government and elected officials.  However, State Rep. Spencer Roach (R-79) has introduced a bill to require municipal elected officials to publicly disclose their financial assets and interests.

With election security a big issue in Florida, many have made the argument that citizens deserve to know the financial affairs of their leaders.

Recently, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried (D-FL) , who is now seeking the governorship in 2022, has faced some criticism for not publicly reporting large sums of income until 2 months after the deadline for candidates.

With HB 301, Roach intends to, "shine a light into the dark-money corners of local governments and bring them into the sunshine."  Adding, "Mayors and city council members across the state of Florida routinely award millions – if not billions – of dollars in contracts.  The public has a right to know if elected officials or their families are benefiting financially at the cost of tax-payer dollars.”

While this legislation may only apply to the lowest level of government, Roach highlights that members of the Florida legislature currently are required to fill out a full financial disclosure since 1976.  And there is, "no rational explanation why local elected officials should not be held to the same level of transparency and accountability.  Any voter should immediately be suspicious of a politician who seeks to shield their financial interests from public disclosure.”

As a self-described 10th Amendment Conservative, this is not Roach's first move in terms of election and government accountability.  Previously, the Lee County representative has even called out President Joe Biden (D) himself after threatening to undo the transgender sports ban Roach helped pass in last year's session.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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