Florida senators carry a combined $144 million in personal wealth

florida-capitolFlorida’s most deliberative legislative body is getting richer.

The combined net worth of the Florida Senate’s 40 members was nearly $144 million, a Watchdog analysis of financial disclosures filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics last year shows. The total marks a 7.1 percent increase over the previous year and an 18 percent jump since the 2011 reporting deadline.

COMPLETE FLORIDA SENATE NET WORTH

The legislators file the disclosures, which are later posted to the ethics commission’s website. The most recent document filings range from Dec. 31, 2013, to June 30, 2014.

The richest lawmaker? Former Senate President Don Gaetz, a Republican, whose net worth was listed at $26,077,030 — more than $8 million above the next wealthiest senator, Wilton Simpson. Gaetz actually lost $142,000 by the end of 2013, but he was up 5 percent overall since becoming the Senate’s most powerful lawmaker.

Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, was the only member of the Legislature’s upper chamber with a negative net worth. Soto self-reported minus $6,663, a reduction of nearly $25,000 of his negative net worth the previous year.

All told, 17 of the 40 state senators are millionaires, according to their filings. Senators Jeff Brandes, Jeremy Ring, David Simmons and Wilton Simpson are all worth more than $10 million each.

The Florida Senate was dominated by Republicans, 26-14, but Democrats held their fair share of comparative wealth, with almost half of the Senate’s Democrat caucus worth at least $1 million.

Read more at Watchdog.org.

By William Patrick  | Florida Watchdog

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