Judicial review finds lobbyist bill in violation of SG Constitution

Christian Ayers

Video shot and edited by Michael Herrera

Two weeks after Senate passed a $60,500 bill for a lobbyist contract and SG travel, President Shomari Gloster and Senate President Chase Baker submitted the bill for judicial. On July 22, Chief Justice Benjamin Jaeger and SG’s Supreme Court ruled that the bill violated Constitution and Statutes, sending the bill back for Senate approval.

Dana Baker, attorney general, explaining the circumstances of the bill's violation.Photo by Michael Herrera
Dana Baker, attorney general, explaining the circumstances of the bill’s violation.
Photo by Michael Herrera

Attorney General Dana Baker asserted before the five justices that the bill violated Chapter 840.6 Title VIII of the Constitution, which reads: “In order for the B&A Committee to hear a request, the requesting entity or individual must be sponsored by a member of the Senate.” In this case, the sponsor was not the one who introduced the bill in Senate.

Baker said the violation did not occur out of malice, but was a matter of miscommunication.

The bill, which would allocate $50,000 of student money to a lobbyist contract and a further $10,500 for the Office of Governmental Affairs to travel to Tallahassee, passed 9-0-2 on July 6.

Jaeger recommended that, given the time constraints of the bill, Senate should hold an emergency Budget and Allocations Committee meeting on July 27.

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