New laws in Florida, could impact those running in local elections and those who already hold public office statewide.

As of Monday, a new law is now in place that requires local elected officials to submit more detailed financial information.

According to the Florida Commission on Ethics all persons holding the following positions must fill out Form 6: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Cabinet members, members of the Legislature, State Attorneys, Public Defenders, Clerks of Circuit Courts, Sheriffs, Tax Collectors, Property Appraisers, Supervisors of Elections, County Commissioners, elected Superintendents of Schools, members of District School Boards, Mayor and members of the Jacksonville City Council, Judges of Compensation Claims; the Duval County Superintendent of Schools, and members of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation Board, each expressway authority, transportation authority (except the Jacksonville Transportation Authority), bridge authority, toll authority, or expressway agency created pursuant to Chapter 348 or 343, F.S., or any other general law, mayors, elected members of the governing body of a municipality, each member of the Commission on Ethics and judges, as required by Canon 6, Code of Judicial Conduct.

Form 6 requires officials to disclose their net worth, assets, debts, real estate, jewelry, and 401k plan, among other financial information.

Read More: 2023 Form 6 Instructions

However, the new law now expands that to mayors and commissioners of cities, towns and villages across the state.

According to Gary Lesser, he says lawmakers in Tallahassee feel the new law levels the playing field for elected officials, and those hoping to be elected, because they are subjected to the same financial disclosures at all levels of government now. Making this information public ensures there is no conflict of interest between elected officials and the decisions they are making for the city, county, or state.

“This has been a little controversial because some city and municipal elected officials have actually resigned because they think it’s invasive,” Lesser told CBS12 News. “They think I’m just serving my local community… I’m not going up to Tallahassee and meeting with movers and shakers. So a number of municipal and elected officials have actually resigned over this new law, including 3 right here in North Palm Beach.”

Lesser is talking about the Mayor and 2 council members of the North Palm Beach Village Council. According to reporting from the Palm Beach Post, Mayor David Norris and councilmembers Mark Mullinix and Darryl Aubrey resigned in November.

Local elected officials of cities, towns and villages across the state have also resigned or retired early and have cited the law as too invasive.

According to the Florida Commission on Ethics, candidates must file Form 6 at the time of qualifying, while incumbent officials must file annually by July 1st. Officials who do not file on time will be fined $25 for each day it’s late, up to a maximum of $1,500. Failure to file could also result in the removal from public office or employment.


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