TALLAHASSEE — With a billion dollar battle forcing the legislative session off the rails, lawmakers are in the unique position of being able to hold political fundraisers just before they meet in a special session to approve the state’s nearly $80 billion budget.
Legislative rules don’t allow lawmakers to raise political coin during the state’s two-month legislative session. House members officially ended their session on Tuesday, while the Senate formally adjourned Friday.
As long as the chambers are not in, members can raise money for their campaigns and political committees, which can accept unlimited contributions, up until the point a special session begins. A health care funding fight has prevented lawmakers from passing a state budget during regular session. They will return this summer to hammer out a deal before the June 30 end of the fiscal year.
Some lawmakers have urged caution over holding fundraisers leading into a budget vote because it looks bad — some who helped them raise money may return during the special session to ask them to support legislation. But with the rising cost of campaigns and expanding election cycles, many lawmakers are not likely to wait to raise campaign money.
“Fundraiser anyone?” State Rep. Frank Artilles, R-Miami, tweeted as soon as the House adjourned Tuesday.
He quickly deleted the message. Read Full ArticleMatt Dixon