“This is an issue that we’ve been working on for some time,” said Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, during a Thursday news conference about his new bill intending to stop lawmakers from fudging where they live.
Since at least last summer, Latvala has been pushing Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford to authorize inquiries into whether certain lawmakers, especially Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, lived outside the districts they represent.
While Latvala swears this isn’t a political crusade, just remember that Sachs defeated one of Latvala’s allies in the Senate in 2012 who would have boosted his chances of becoming Senate President in 2016. During an April Senate ethics committee, Latvala lashed out at his spoiler, publicly accusing Sachs of violating the residency law. Sachs has maintained that she didn’t.
Because Florida law isn’t clear on the matter, Latvala hoped to clarify it himself.
So why didn’t Thursday’s unveiling of his long-awaited legislative cure feel more like a victory for Latvala?
Blame the number of questions swirling around his bill and the House companion sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero.
A legal opinion released on Wednesday is the main problem.