By Jaci Schreckengost
Ben Albritton, Florida House Representative of District 56, says there have been changes in the Florida House since the transition between Speaker Crisafulli and Speaker Corcoran in 2016.
According to Albritton, the former speaker, Crisafulli, supported many policies for agriculture during his time as speaker. While the new speaker, Corcoran, has not had as much of a focus on agriculture as Crisafulli, Albritton says the priorities for the community are still kept. This included $8 million for citrus greening research.
Albritton does, however, say Speaker Corcoran has improved in areas such as transparency and accountability. One example is that Corcoran implemented a policy in which lobbyists must register the specific issue they want to lobby.
When a lobbyist walks in Albritton’s office, the first thing he asks is “Are you registered to lobby me on this issue?”
Albritton says, “If the answer is no, they didn’t get the chance to lobby.”
Another change is in the process to put a new project in the House budget. Albritton says to add a new “member project” to the budget, it must be filed as an appropriation bill, presented in the committee and receive enough votes. A “member project” is a project a representative wants to do for the people in his or her area, Albritton explains.
While this may create more work for the committees, Albritton says, “The amount of transparency in this budgeting process today is unparalleled.”
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