• Legislature defends new ethics law to court


    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Legislature is defending a year-old state law that allows elected officials to place their assets in a blind trust instead of reporting each investment publicly.

    Attorneys for the Legislature on Monday filed a brief with the state Supreme Court that says the new law is constitutional.

    A lawsuit filed last week contends that using a blind trust goes against the "Sunshine Amendment" that was adopted by the state's voters in 1976. The amendment marked the first time Florida officials were required to publicly disclose their finances.

    Gov. Rick Scott is the only state official who has chosen to place his finances in a blind trust in an effort to avoid potential conflicts.

    Scott's re-election campaign has said he will comply with whatever the court decides.

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