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January 27, 2016

Fla. Might Scrap State Charity Drive Amid Management Flap

Efforts by Florida lawmakers to reform the state government's troubled workplace fundraising campaign have stalled as the governor's office raises the prospect of eliminating the drive, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. One state Senate leader said differences between legislators and Gov. Rick Scott make it unlikely a bill to overhaul the Florida State Employees' Charitable Campaign will emerge before the March 11 end of the legislative session.

Lawmakers called for reforms last year following reports that donations have dropped sharply and more than half of the money raised goes to Solix Inc., a private firm retained in 2013 to manage the drive. In testimony last month to the Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability, Chad Poppell, head of Florida's Department of Management Services, recommended scrapping the campaign. A Scott spokeswoman said the governor agrees "this program may not be the best way to connect state employees with charitable giving."

"We know there are problems with the program. We also know that the governor's office wants to get rid of it," said Sen. Jeremy Ring, who chairs the committee. "From what I understand, there’s not an appetite in the Senate to actually get rid of it. So we’re at a bit of a standstill."