As expected, the Florida Senate passed a pair of ethics bills on the opening day of the 2013 legislative session.
The fast-tracked measures (SB 2 ad SB 4) each passed on a 40-0 vote Tuesday. There was no debate on either issue.
Among other things, the bills seek to stop lawmakers from using political committees to pay for wining, dining and travel unrelated to their positions. It also gives the Ethics Commission power to collect fines from elected officials and allows the governor, state attorneys and the Florida Department of Law enforcement to refer cases to the commission.
The bill would keep lawmakers from voting on items where they have a financial interest.
They must still be passed in the House and signed by Gov. Rick Scott before becoming law.