Thursday, December 14, 2017
Politics

Fla. Legislature puts salaries online

TALLAHASSEE — Floridians will finally get a chance on their own to find out how much people are getting paid to work for the Florida Legislature.

The two Republican leaders of the Florida House and Florida Senate quietly this week added links on legislative websites that allow people to look up legislative employee salaries. The two chambers are also posting copies of contracts.

The move to post the information comes nearly two years after Gov. Rick Scott posted salaries of most state workers. Scott posted the salaries of professors and other university employees even though it drew the ire of some of those working for the schools.

Florida also has information regarding state contracts posted online.

Ryan Duffy, a spokesman for House Speaker Will Weatherford, said the records are the ones most frequently requested.

"We thought it would be easiest for access by putting them online," Duffy said Friday.

The House website shows, for example, that 32 employees in the House earn $100,000 or more a year, while the Senate website also lists 32 employees earning at least $100,000.

The decision by lawmakers comes after a decision by Scott to shutter a budget-tracking website that the Senate paid $5 million to develop.

The Florida Senate hired a contractor to build the site, but the contract to use the website called Transparency 2.0 expired on Dec. 31. The vendor wanted $1 million to renew it.

The Legislature appropriated $2.5 million to transfer the website to Scott's office and make it public. But Scott declined.

Scott's office then announced it would seek competitive bids for a Florida budget website open to all citizens. Open government and ethics advocacy groups had urged keeping the Transparency 2.0 website and making it public.

The governor already has his own website, FloridaHasARight ToKnow, which gives the public access to state employee salary information.

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