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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate relaxes rules on itself



The Senate just relaxed a lot of the rules on its members, relaxing or wiping out some of the tougher requirements that came with the Tom Lee administration.

Senators made it easier to vote with conflicts of interest, easier to dismiss complaints against themselves and gave themselves more time to report money raised and spent in their political committees.

They now don't have to register their affiliation with a 527, the second they register the committee, just as "required by law." They also don't have to create "immediate" Web sites anymore -- just create them promptly. And they don't have to report expenditures and money raised to their committees within 10 days anymore.

The rules also make it easier to have conflicts of interest by declaring that a senator absolutely "is not disqualified from voting on a measure" when there's a conflict on interest, as long as they declare they could personally benefit.

They made it harder to file a complaint against a senator. The complaint must be based on "personal knowledge" and it gives all committee chairs, the rule chair and the president the ability to dismiss it, if they don't find "probable cause."

Read the rule changes here.

Check out rule 1.361, 1.39 and 1.42.

Jennifer Liberto, Times staff writer



[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:47pm]


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