How corporate interests who invested millions in FL Legislature fared
It was a lucrative year for Florida legislators who collected more than $28.5 million for their political committees in the six months before their annual session and when it was over, many of the special interests that raised the money — from sugar farmers and utilities to marijuana farmers and charter school companies — could point to tangible rewards.
For others, like the gaming industry, which spent more than $3 million on legislators and the governor, or the oil and gas industry, which spent nearly $500,000 trying to authorize fracking, their priorities landed in the ditch.
“You probably had some very unhappy lobbyists and special interests — not because they didn’t do well but because they didn’t do as well as they were used to doing,” said Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, chairman of the House State Affairs Committee.
A proposal to ratify the gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe and Gov. Rick Scott was left incomplete amid industry infighting over how far to let the pari-mutuel industry expand. And a plan to regulate fracking and prevent local governments from banning it also hit the skids amid intense community opposition in an election year. Story here.