FORT MYERS, Fla. - We now know how the state wants to protect your donation from going to the wrong charity! Lawmakers filed bills in the Senate and House with a list of regulation changes.
Right now the state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is in charge of registering charities operating in the state. But there are hardly any regulations in place, to keep bad charities from operating. That could soon change.
This week both the state House and Senate saw identical bills introduced that would put in place restrictions on charities. They include:
--Banning organizations that have violated certain laws in other states.
--Prohibiting felons from soliciting
--Requiring professional solicitors who operate like telemarketers to get background checks
--Increasing fines for fraudulent of deceptive acts in violation of the law.
The bills would also create a more detailed interactive online database where you can see detailed financial statements, leadership, location, and any violations a charity has received from the state.
If passed this session and signed into law by the governor, the new rules and regulations would go into effect by July.
For now, you can check on your favorite charity at the Department of Agriculture's online Gift Giver's Guide.