Lawmakers like to make a splash — or at least what they see as a splash — on the first day of the legislative session.
This year the big action comes Tuesday in the Senate where lawmakers consider an ethics measure that would — among other things — give some teeth to the Florida Commission on Ethics. That panel has been little more than a paper tiger for much of its existence.
The ethics commission would be given 20 years to collect an unpaid fine and could garnish wages or put a lien on property to collect fines against public officials unwilling to pay fines for ethical abuses. They now have four years to collect fines with little ability other than waiting for the offender to pay up.