State Sen. Dorothy Hukill talks with Senate general counsel George Levesque after a training session on ethics, public records and open meeting requirements for lawmakers on Tuesday. Photo by Bill Cotterell.
For a little more than an hour on Tuesday, two dozen state senators listened attentively to a lecture on how to stay on the safe side of Florida's constantly evolving political ethics standards.
"This is church for the saved," Senate President Don Gaetz, who has made improvement of the Legislature's ethics climate a top priority of the 2013 session, said as he surveyed the meeting room. The Niceville Republican said he doesn't think any members are dishonest or are using their public offices for personal gain, but that legislators welcomed the chance to ask questions and -- with more than a dozen new senators -- find out how the rules differ from House rules.
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