Home FloridaBulldog.org Using Ethics Loophole, Sen. Lauren Book Votes To Give Her Nonprofit $1.5...

Using Ethics Loophole, Sen. Lauren Book Votes To Give Her Nonprofit $1.5 Million

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Sen. Lauren Book’s page on Florida Senate web site.

Broward State Sen. Lauren Book voted “yes” last month to approve a state appropriations bill that included $1.5 million for Lauren’s Kids, the nonprofit she founded and leads as its $135,000-a-year chief executive officer.

A gaping loophole in Florida Senate ethics rules allowed Book to cast her vote despite her apparent conflict of interest. The same loophole also meant she didn’t have to disclose her conflict publicly.

Senators are forbidden by ethics rules from voting “on any matter” in which they or an immediate family member would privately gain – except when it comes to votes on the annual General Appropriations Act. Abstaining senators must also disclose the nature of their interest in the matter, according to the 335-page Florida Senate Rules and Manual.

“Legislators are allowed to vote on issues that may benefit their profession,” said Ben Wilcox, research director for the nonpartisan watchdog Integrity Florida. “But it becomes questionable when it is a direct appropriation to an entity that a legislator controls and that would directly benefit that legislator.”

By Francisco Alvarado, FloridaBulldog.org, Special to SouthFloridaReporter.com, June 22, 2017 

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The FloridaBulldog is led by its’ founder, Dan Christensen. Christensen is an award winning former investigative reporter for The Miami Herald and Daily Business Review, and one of South Florida’s most experienced reporters. The reports they publish are strictly from their own investigations.