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House OKs Guns in Adoptions, More

March 18, 2010 - 7:00pm

The Florida House of Representatives passed a number of bills Thursday morning with some debate but no close votes.

Republicans took aim at trial attorneys in a measure that limits fees for private attorneys representing the state attorney generals office and also in a bill reforming slip-and-fall tort law.

The House voted along party lines to cap attorney fees by a vote of 71-40 after debate. Three Democrats voted for the measure, Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, Rep. Leonard Bembry, D-Greenville, and Rep. Debbie Boyd, D-Newberry.

Slip-and-Fall Bill Passes House, Moves in Senate

March 18, 2010 - 7:00pm

Legislation shifting the burden of proof from retailer to plaintiff in slip-and-fall cases overwhelmingly passed the House Thursday and took a step toward passage in the Senate.

Proponents of the legislation say their bills shift Floridas law back to where it was before 2001. In that year, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in Owens vs. Publix that the burden of proof in such tort cases was on retailers. The next year, lawmakers adopted legislation that fell in line with the court's ruling.

Political Bits and Pieces

March 18, 2010 - 7:00pm

GOP attorney general candidate Pam Bondi is holding a fundraiser in DC with two of the big-name Florida Republicans behind her. Make that one name in two

Crist's, Legislature's Budgets Still at Odds

March 17, 2010 - 7:00pm

The Crist administration continues to base its budgetplan on unsecured funding sources -- in particular, $1 billion from Medicaid, which has not received final congressional approval, and $250 million from a proposed pact with the Seminole tribe.

Director Jerry McDaniel of the Office of Policy and Budget addressed House Democrats on Gov. Charlie Crists proposed budget Wednesday, sayinghe was optimistic these measures would soon be finalized.

Same-Sex Adoption Measures Stalled

March 17, 2010 - 7:00pm

Despite a setback on Tuesday, Democrats in both houses are still trying to repeal the law that blocks homosexuals from adopting.

Sen. Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, and Rep. Mary Brandenburg, D-Lake Worth, have introduced bills repealing the current ban prohibiting homosexual individuals or couples from adopting children.

Crist to Floridians: Fill out Census

March 17, 2010 - 7:00pm

Gov. Charlie Crist had a solitary message to millions of Floridians Wednesday -- fill out the census form.

The census is very important for our fellow Floridians, Crist said at a press conference. Filling it out is an important civic duty.

Florida can get up to $400 billion in federal funding with an accurate census count, according to the governor. He said the state can also gain an extra congressional seat.

Port Bills Backed by Crist Being Downsized

March 17, 2010 - 7:00pm

Bills supported by Gov. Charlie Crist and aimed at making Florida's 14 ports more competitive in the expanding global market took broadside hits Wednesday, with members of the House Economic Development Committee cutting away a whopping $420 million from what had been a $500 million ports package.

About the same time the committee was taking an axe to the proposed funding in the legislation, Crist and the bill's sponsors were holding a press conference to draw attention to how many new jobs the legislation would create.

It didn't help.

Conservative Agenda on Deck

March 16, 2010 - 7:00pm

Republican leaders in both House and Senate set the table for conservative legislation due to come to a votewhen both convene Thursday.

The House pushed through the following:

ameasure capping legal fees for private attorneys representing the state Attorney Generals Office;

legislation moving the burden of proof from retailers to injured plaintiffs in slip-and-fall cases;

a bill restoring affiliated political-committee funds; and,

McCollum Pushes Back on 'Forced' Health Care

March 16, 2010 - 7:00pm

Attorney General Bill McCollum declared Tuesday there is "no benefit" to the federal health care legislation supported by the Obama administration and invited attorneys general from around the nation to join him in preparing to challenge the policy on constitutional grounds.

There is no benefit to this bill, McCollum said of the pending health care reform. I cant conceive of any.

Offshore Drilling Adrift

March 15, 2010 - 7:00pm

The Florida House of Representatives continued to study the benefits and drawbacksof offshore drilling for energy on Monday, even as leaders from both parties in the House the Senate cautioned there was little hope for progress during this session.



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