Airbnb Funnels $250,000 To Florida Committee Ahead Of Legislative Session - WUSF Public Media | Tampa NPR, Local News Coverage

Airbnb Funnels $250,000 To Florida Committee Ahead Of Legislative Session

In this Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 photo, a cleaning lady works in an apartment located on Airbnb in Paris. The spectacular growth of Airbnb in Paris, the top worldwide location for the internet giant is also raising alarms in the French capital. Some Parisians and officials at City Hall blame the site for driving Parisian families out of the city center, leading to school closures and concerns that the French capital is losing its life and charms. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

With state lawmakers preparing to wade into a debate about vacation rental properties, Airbnb, Inc., last month sent $250,000 to a Florida political committee, a newly filed finance report shows.

The contribution went to a political committee known as “People versus the Powerful.” The committee had received only one other contribution, a $1 million infusion in 2017 from Airbnb.

People versus the Powerful also spent $60,508 in December, with the largest amount, $10,000, going to the Jobs for Florida political committee, which is chaired by incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby.

Other expenditures included $5,000 to the Republican Party of Florida; $5,000 to the Advancing Florida Agriculture political committee, which is chaired by Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula; and $5,000 to the Friends of Ray Rodrigues political committee, which is chaired by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero.

Lawmakers are expected during the upcoming legislative session to consider controversial proposals (SB 1128 and HB 1011) that seek to prevent local regulation of vacation rental properties.

The Senate bill (SB 1128), filed by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, is scheduled to be considered Monday by the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee. The 60-day legislative session starts Tuesday.

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