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Fla. Elections Commission Wants Garnishment Power

The Florida Elections Commission has been unable to collect more than $1-million in outstanding fines stemming from elections complaints because officials have limited power to enforce statutes. Now, the commission is recommending the legislature allow it to garnish wages of those elected officials who neglect to pay their debts, in much the same way the Ethics Commission can. But Elections Commission Executive Director Amy McKeever Toman clarified that even with garnishment power, the commission might not get all the fines it’s due.

“We would only be able still capture a fairly small number of the people who come before us and owe fines to us because it’s only the people actually end up becoming elected who would be subject to the garnishment process,” Toman said.

Toman originally suggested candidates be barred from running for office if they have outstanding elections fines, but other commissioners say that presents too many constitutional questions.