Legislation moving the burden of proof from retailers to injured plaintiffs passed the House Criminal and Civil Justice Policy Council and will be brought to the House floor, but Republicans and Democrats alike agree the bill still needs work.
We're two weeks into the BIG change in the Republian Party of Florida -- the election of Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, as chairman of the RPOF. So, how is the states GOP boss doing?
Attorney General Bill McCollum is doing quite well, thank you.
It was McCollum who decided the party could no longer afford to keep party chairman Jim Greer, following media revelations that party funds may have been mishandled. And, it was McCollum who enlisted the help of Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, when it came time to ease a reluctant and combative Greer out the door.
Floridas House Republicans caucused Wednesday night and expressed concern about the budget and how the budget process will shape the entire session.
The grim mood was obvious from the start.
Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, offered the opening prayer with references to this difficult budgetary time and this austere time.
Remarks from Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach, extended the somber tone.
Gov. Charlie Crist presented a State-of-the-State address on Tuesday that did more than underscore the need to balance the state budget in these rocky financial times.
As politicians position themselves for the 2010 elections, sure as the sun comes up in the morning, the ones who hold office will try to use this legislative session to attract attention and lure as much support as they can.
Expect the 2010 Legislature to take less time than Wayne Mixson served as governor to pass several big pieces of legislation.
Bills that would defer collection of unemployment taxes and reform the Public Service Commission (PSC) are expected to win quick approval.
The Legislature is out to signal early that it's serious about bringing relief to business.
Republican presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., scored a win at the end of last week as the Senate passed their Girls Count Act. The bill, which passed with unanimous consent, would carve out funds from current foreign aid programs to create birth registries in underdeveloped countries.
Noting that 51 million children across the globe are not registered at birth, with most of them being girls, the senators teamed up to introduce the bill back in July. The senators brought the bill back earlier this year.
Teaming up with conservatives, libertarians and liberals, at the end of last week U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., continued his fight to ensure authority over armed drones remains solely with the Department of Defense (DOD), as he brought back the Drone Reform Act (DRA) on Friday.
Yoho introduced the DRA last year to ensure the DOD and not the CIA had power over drones, though the bill went nowhere. On Friday, Yoho brought the bill back and made his case why the DOD should be the only branch of the federal government able to launch drones.
On Monday at an event in Seminole, U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., a possible U.S. Senate candidate in 2016, showcased his proposal to help veterans with their housing needs who are pursing higher education opportunities.
Jollys Student Veterans Housing Support Act," which he introduced last week and which is now in the Veterans Affairs Committee, reforms monthly housing stipends for veterans in school, including extending them to cover summer periods, moving the date up for distribution for full-time students and covering the increasing number of veterans taking online classes.
On Monday night, the U.S. House passed a bill from a Florida congressman which ensures every veteran receives an ID card from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs without burdening taxpayers. The House passed the vote with 402 representatives backing it and no votes cast against it.