Florida Legislature: Preview of Day 59

<a href=”http://www.myfloridahouse.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.leg.state.fl.us/images/houseseal.jpg” alt=”House” align=”left” border=”0″ height=”100″ width=”100″ /></a><strong>Florida House of Representatives</strong>

There are only 7 House Bills on third reading and no Special Order Calendar has been published.  On the last two days of session, the House usually takes up bills passed by the Senate, which are received by the House as  Messages.  Also, it is possible the House will take up the 2007-2008 budget.  The Florida Constituion requires legislators to have the budget 72 hours before voting.  The Conference Committee report was compiled on Monday, and the 72-hour “cooling off” period expires later today.

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<a href=”http://www.flsenate.gov” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.leg.state.fl.us/images/senateseal2.jpg” alt=”Senate” align=”left” border=”0″ height=”100″ width=”100″ /></a><strong>Florida Senate</strong>

There are 30 Bills on third reading in the Senate and only 10 bills on the Senate Special Order Calendar.  As in the House, the Senate usually devotes the last days of session to passing bills that come over from the House, which are received by the Senate as Messages.  The Senate may also take up the budget Conference Commitee report today, after the 72-hour deadline passes.

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A few other major issues that remain:

No-Fault Auto Insurance – The Senate has passed SB 1880, and the bill is on Second Reading in the House; the bill was temporarily postponed (TP’d) yesterday.

Global Warming – Both the House and Senate have bills creating the Florida Climate Action Partnership on Second Reading in their respective chambers.

Stadium Financing – The Florida Marlins want a new stadium (passed the House, not the Senate). The Orlando Magic want a new arena.  The Tampa Bay Lightning want money to help maintain the St. Pete Times Forum (passed the House, not the Senate).  The issue has been declared dead by the Senate, but the Marlins’ bill is a priority for Speaker Rubio.

Video Lottery - The Senate passed its version. The House bill requires the tax receipts for video lottery terminals to be used to reduce the required local match component of the Florida Education Finance Program – thus lowering school property taxes.

Stem Cell Research - The House bill is on Second Reading; the Senate Bill is still in the Health & Human Services Appropriations Committee.

Elections: Paper Trail & Presidential Primary – The Senate amended the House bill and sent it back.  The language moves the primary date to the last Tuesday in January and requires optical scan systems for elections.  The bill also includes some controversial provisions dealing with third-party voter registration drives. The bill is becoming a train, as more amendments have been filed in the House (the most interesting allow elections by mail at the city and county level, as well as one that requires all candidates to live in the district at the time of qualifying – instead of time of election).

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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