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Bill to fill the holes in clerk funding is on the move

Senior Editor Top Stories
Sen. Travis Hutson

Sen. Travis Hutson

Legislation aimed at giving Florida clerks a stable and dedicated funding source continues to receive high marks from Florida legislators.

SB 1130, by Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coast, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee March 29 by an 11-0 vote.

The bill stands to diversify revenues, support staffing needs, and would give the clerks access to $31.2 million that would otherwise flow to the state’s general revenue fund.

“The clerks really do all the . . . heavy lifting and I’m glad to have a bill to reward their efforts for all they do,” Hutson said.

The measure is a top priority for Florida’s Court Clerks and Comptrollers. HB 977, the identical companion legislation in the House,  passed out of the Civil Justice Committee March 14.

Sen. Gayle Harrell’s, R-Stuart, called the bill an excellent piece of legislation.

“I think it’s the right thing to do to establish a system that’s going to be able to fund [the clerks] adequately,” Harrell said. “They are an essential part of our democratic system and we want to make sure that they have the resources to continue the good work they do.”

Carolyn Timmann

Carolyn Timmann

Harrell also took a moment to thank the county clerks who came to Tallahassee to support of the measure, especially FCCC President Carolyn Timmann.

“As a point of personal privilege, I’d like to thank all the clerks of court who are coming here and especially acknowledge Carolyn Timmann who is a dear friend and clerk of Martin County,” Harrell said. “Thank you all for being here and we appreciate you.”

Committee Vice-Chair Colleen Burton, a Lakeland Republican, echoed Harrell’s sentiments and gave special recognition to Polk County Clerk and FCCC Legislative Chair Stacy Butterfield.

“She has been involved in these issues on behalf of all clerks across the state for many years. Thank you for your advocacy,” Burton said.

Other clerks in attendance supporting the legislation were Hernando Clerk Doug Chorvat, Jr., Marion Clerk Greg Harrell, and Volusia Clerk Laura Roth.

The bill now heads to the Appropriations Committee on Civil and Criminal Justice before a final stop before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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