Campaign Finance Reform, Other Research Reports, Latest Updates

Integrity Florida Report Calls the Florida PSC a “Captured” Regulatory Agency

No Comments 02 October 2017

Integrity Florida released a new research report examining the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) and many of the more controversial rate decisions the commission has made in recent years. Read the full report here.

The report, titled Florida’s “Public Service” Commission? A Captured Regulatory Agency, builds on key findings by proposing a series of policy reform options that would greatly improve the PSC’s ability to serve the people of Florida.

“Investor-owned utilities regulated by the PSC have an extraordinary degree of influence on the Governor and the legislature and they have used that influence to pursue favorable decisions by the PSC, at the expense of the public,” said Ben Wilcox, Research Director for Integrity Florida. “This report shows that the Public Service Commission has been “captured” by the very industries it is supposed to regulate.”

The PSC has the dual responsibility of balancing the needs of monopoly utilities and their investors with the needs of consumers. The commission must set rates that are fair, just and reasonable for consumers, but utility investors must also be allowed to earn a reasonable return on their investment. When evaluating recent rate decisions researchers noticed some troubling trends.

“Many contested rate hike requests by utilities are resolved through settlements. However, utilities seem to be gaming the settlement process,” said Alan Stonecipher, Integrity Florida researcher.  “The companies enter negotiations in rate cases much like a used car dealer who marks up the initial asking price knowing that they will eventually agree to a lower amount.”

Read the full report here.

Campaign Finance Reform

Campaign finance reform

No Comments 31 March 2014

Related Integrity Florida research publications: 

Money in Politics Reforms in Florida: Initial Impacts and Comparison to Other States (August 24, 2015)

Power Play: Political influence of Florida’s top energy corporations (March 31, 2014)

Tough Choices: Best Practices in Campaign Finance and Public Access to Information by the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University and Integrity Florida (February 10, 2014)

Florida’s Broken Campaign Finance System – Integrity Florida Report to the Florida House of Representatives Ethics & Elections Subcommittee
January 16, 2013

Related state government information:

Campaign finance database – Florida Division of Elections

Related research from other organizations:

Florida Scorecard: Essential Disclosure Requirements for Independent Spending 2013 – National Institute of Money in State Politics – National Institute of Money in State Politics – Center for Responsive Politics

Campaign Finance Reform

Tough Choices: Best Practices in Campaign Finance and Public Access to Information

No Comments 10 February 2014

Florida is considering replacement of its outdated website for tracking money in politics with a statewide electronic filing system for all state and local campaign finance data.

As this potential solution is reviewed by policymakers to help the public follow the money, the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University and Integrity Florida, on February 10, 2014, released the latest installment in the Tough Choices report series:

Tough Choices: Best Practices in Campaign Finance and Public Access to Information. The report, an in-depth analysis of Florida’s campaign finance policies compared to other states in the U.S., found that Florida’s 2013 reform legislation set the right path, but more could be done to improve transparency.

What others are saying about our research:

“I am proud of our progress in making Florida’s campaign finance reporting system more transparent through stricter reporting requirements,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford. “We can always do more to increase transparency and accountability, and I appreciate the LeRoy Collins Institute’s and Integrity Florida’s thoughtful suggestions.”

Click here to read the report.

Click here for the 2014 Appendix – 50-state assessment of campaign finance disclosure websites

Click here to read the press release.

Click here to review the Florida Division of Elections proposal.

In case you missed it, here is a related Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times report by Mary Ellen Klas “Next step in campaign finance reform could be web site overhaul”

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