The Phoenix Flyer

Remember the “blind trust” law Rick Scott used? It’s repealed now

By: - June 5, 2019 9:59 am
rick scott

Florida U.S. Sen Rick Scott is isolating himself at his home in Naples following a positive COVID test. Screenshot

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that will prevent wealthy state officials from hiding their assets from the public view while in office.

The measure (SB 702) repeals a law that allowed former Republican Gov. Rick Scott, the wealthiest governor in state history, to use a blind trust to shield his multi-million-dollar fortune.

Scott created the blind trust after he took office in 2011, arguing  that the trust would prevent conflicts of interest problems with his official actions if he did not know the impact on his assets. Lawmakers passed a law validating the trust arrangement two years later.

But questions arose during Scott’s two terms in office as to how detached Scott was from his family’s finances, which continued to grow while he was governor. Legal and ethics challenges questioning the arrangement were not successful.

State Sen. Tom Lee, the Hillsborough County Republican who sponsored the repeal measure, said he believes all public officials should disclose their financial assets while in office.

DeSantis told reporters on Tuesday that he was unaware of how Scott used the law. But the Republican governor said he reviewed the repeal legislation and signed it because “I think it makes sense.”

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Lloyd Dunkelberger
Lloyd Dunkelberger

Lloyd Dunkelberger has been covering Florida government for over three decades. He’s reported and edited in Tallahassee for the New York Times Regional Newspapers group, Florida Politics, and the News Service of Florida. He grew up in Jacksonville and Palm Beach County and got his journalism degree at the University of Florida.