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Florida legislators push bills tied to their private jobs

Scales of Justice
Posted at 10:54 AM, May 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-03 06:57:54-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The professional and political lives of Florida legislators collide at the halls of the state Capitol. And there's nothing illegal about it.

For example, Senate President Andy Gardiner has been leading the charge to expand Medicaid because he's worried Florida hospitals are about to lose millions in federal money. In private life, Gardiner works for Orlando Health, a network of private, nonprofit hospitals.

He's not alone in having a connection between his day job and his legislative duties. Other legislators from across the state push bills and issues tied to their professional lives.

The rules guiding conflicts for legislators aren't that strict.

Former House Speaker Ray Sansom was charged in 2009 over a budget item that appeared to benefit a GOP donor in his district. The charges were later dropped.