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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs ban on blind trusts, which protect public officials from having to disclose personal business interests

Posted By on Wed, Jun 5, 2019 at 11:27 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JEREMY REPER
  • Photo by Jeremy Reper
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that will prevent elected officials from using blind trusts — an issue that led to a controversy involving former Gov. Rick Scott.

DeSantis, who had a Wednesday deadline to act on the bill (SB 702), gave his support to the measure Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting.



“I read the legislation. I think it makes sense, so I will sign it,” DeSantis said.

Scott, the wealthiest governor in Florida history, put his assets in a blind trust while he was in state office. As a result, he did not have to publicly disclose his specific investments and business interests, as most public officials do under financial-disclosure laws.

Scott, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November, argued that using a blind trust, controlled by a trustee, shielded him from potential conflicts of interest. But the move drew controversy and a legal challenge by Tallahassee attorney Don Hinkle, who sought to require Scott to disclose more information about his assets.

The 1st District Court of Appeal in November blocked the case.

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