House Speaker Richard Corcoran announced Wednesday that he wants to repeal part of the Florida Constitution that provides public financing for statewide election candidates. Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, and House Commerce Chairman Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, announced they are asking the Florida Constitution Revision Commission to place the repeal on the 2018 general-election ballot. The commission, which meets every 20 years, has the power to directly place proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot. Corcoran has appointed nine of the 37 commission members, meaning his proposals are likely to carry a lot of weight with the panel.
“This (public financing) is a gross waste of taxpayer money and is nothing more than welfare for politicians,” Corcoran said in a statement. “You really have to be clueless or just plain selfish to accept money from our state coffers that could go to our schoolchildren, first responders, or be put back in the pockets of our taxpayers.”
Public financing could become a campaign issue in the 2018 governor’s race if Corcoran enters the Republican primary as is widely speculated.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, is expected to use public financing for his gubernatorial campaign, while Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, another contender, has used it in his last two statewide campaigns.