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House Readies for Busy Final Week

April 22, 2010 - 6:00pm

With more than 100 bills on the calendar when it convened Friday morning, the House plowed through a host of measures and amendments. Members passed a few, including a measure to expand placing cameras on stoplights, but they mostly set the stage to tackle more bills next week.

The seven-hour session Friday focused on amending measures that the House will vote on next week. But the House also passed efforts that increased legal penalties for credit and debit card crimes and exempted All-Star games and Pro Bowls from sales taxes.

Political Bits and Pieces

April 21, 2010 - 6:00pm

Veteran member of the Legislature Dan Webster is starting off his bid to knock off U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson with a bang -- the endorsement of former Gov. Jeb Bush. That will help Webster in a crowded Republican primary field that also includes businessman Bruce ODonoghue, Rep.

Democrats Divided on Redistricting

April 21, 2010 - 6:00pm

It appears that Floridians will vote in November on competing ballot initiatives on redistricting -- and Democrats are divided on which option is better.

More than 1.7 million Floridians signed petitions calling for changes to the ways the Legislature draws up congressional and state legislative seats.

Florida House Strikes Back at Obama Health-Care Laws

April 21, 2010 - 6:00pm

State Republicans fought back against new federal health-care laws Thursday, as the GOP-dominated House and Senate sent a constitutional amendment to voters that would allow Floridians to opt out of health insurance.

With new laws threatening individuals who refuse to buy health insurance with penalties from the IRS, supporters of the proposed amendment said this would allow Floridians freedom and choice with their health-care decisions. Attorney General Bill McCollum has filed a lawsuit against the new federal laws.

House Pushes for Balanced Federal Budget

April 20, 2010 - 6:00pm

Spurred by leaders of both houses of the Legislature, the House passed measures Wednesday calling for the federal government to balance its budget.

Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, and Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, opened the session by calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. To that end, Rep. Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach, sponsored a measure calling for a constitutional convention to amend the U.S Constitution. The measure passed 70 to 42.

House Tackles National Issues

April 20, 2010 - 6:00pm

With less than two weeks to go in the legislative session, the Florida House spent the better part of Wednesday debating national matters and passing memorials to Congress.

The House passed a measure asking Congress to hold trials of captured terrorists and enemy combatants in military tribunals instead of in a civilian courtroom. The measure passed on an 83-28 vote with some Democrats, including incoming House Minority Leader Ron Saunders of Key West joining Republicans in voting for it.

Political Bits and Pieces

April 20, 2010 - 6:00pm

With an oil rig exploding off the coast of Louisiana on Tuesday, opponents of offshore oil exploration are arguing this latest incident shows the hazards drilling poses to the environment as well as the physical threat it poses. Leading the charge?

'Old Buddies' Crist, McCollum Smile Up a Storm

April 20, 2010 - 6:00pm

With rumors swirling through Florida political circles that Gov. Charlie Crist intends to abandon the Republican Party, Crist shared a stage Wednesday with Attorney General Bill McCollum, frontrunner for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, at an event commemorating crime victims.

House Engages in All-Day Session

April 19, 2010 - 6:00pm

With two weeks left in the legislative session, the House held a lengthy meeting Tuesday, passing a large number of bills and paving the way to pass even more later in the week. While most of the measures passed with little, if any, opposition, attempts to reform hate crime laws and a proposal to reform property insurance rates prompted debate and pointed questions.

The House debated a measure adding homeless people to the Florida hate crime statues. The measure passed 80-28.

Transportation Workers: Don't Raid Our Trust Fund

April 19, 2010 - 6:00pm

Wearing reflective vests and hard hats, more than 400 transportation workers rallied at the Capitol on Tuesday, protesting any cuts to the State Transportation Trust Fund (STTF).

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