A Florida legislative proposal would drop the attorney general as a trustee of the $136 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, and add the commissioner of agriculture and consumer services.
“The attorney general should have more of an oversight responsibility and scrutinizing (the FSBA), putting him at arm's length” and allowing him to be more objective than when he is involved in decision-making as a trustee, state Sen. Dan Gelber, the sponsor of the bill, said.
Mr. Gelber is a candidate for attorney general.
The commissioner of agriculture “has a consumer mission,” Mr. Gelber said, noting it is more of the role needed on the board. But he said the make up of the FSBA “is a sort of quirky system, having the Cabinet as trustees. I think you want experts in asset management … Elected officials don't necessarily have that background.”
If adopted by the state Legislature, which convenes March 2, the resolution would have to be passed by voters in a referendum because it would amend the state constitution, Mr. Gelber said.
Aside from Attorney General Bill McCollum, Gov. Charlie Crist and state CFO Alex Sink currently serve on the FSBA.
Ryan Wiggins. deputy communications director for the attorney general’s office, said in a statement, “No one has ever raised allegations of a conflict of interest with the attorney general serving on the SBA board.” Mr. McCollum “supports expanding” the FSBA Investment Advisory Council, not the board of trustees, Ms. Wiggins said in the statement.
Terence McElroy, communications director for Charles H. Bronson, commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, said, he is unaware of the proposal.
“It's not something the commissioner would have been pushing,” Mr. McElroy said, noting Mr. Bronson is scheduled to leave office when his term ends in January 2011 under term limits.
Dennis D. MacKee, FSBA communications director, said the board doesn't take a position on such legislation.