Thursday, May 11, 2017

Questions rise about whether Thrasher violated lobbying restrictions set in state law

Back in February, the Naples Daily News ran an investigative story entitled “Document suggests former state Sen. Thrasher violated lobbying ban as FSU chief.” It looked into the question of whether Florida State University President John Thrasher, a former state senator, “violated the state law that forbids former lawmakers for a two-year period from lobbying the Legislature.”

Thrasher left the Florida Senate in 2014 to become the president of FSU. That meant that under state law, he could not lobby the Florida Legislature until 2016.

The Naples Daily News highlighted “a 2015 form with Thrasher named as the requester and dated before the former senator's ban on lobbying expired” that was submitted to the Florida Legislature. It requested $1M for the FSU College of Law.

The newspaper reported that “[State Sen. Bill Montford], in an interview last week, initially recalled being asked by Thrasher to set aside the law school cash. But when asked Thursday about the request, Montford said he misspoke by saying Thrasher requested the special money.”

According to the newspaper, “the FSU law school did not get the $1 million requested for scholarships and faculty salaries in the 2016 budget.”

Thrasher told the Naples Daily News that he didn't lobby state lawmakers during the two years when he was banned from doing so. 

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