Capital Report: 05-01-2013

May 1, 2013

The molasses-like pace of the Florida House continued throughout today (Wednesday).  That’s because, as Steven Rodriguez reports, House Democrats and Republicans were locked in a contest of legislative chicken to see who would blink first and call for a return to normal lawmaking procedures.

The Florida Virtual School is bracing for an impending budget cut as a result of changes in the state funding formula. Lynn Hatter reports the move also has school districts on edge as they too eye a drop in funding as a result of changes proposed in the state’s 2013 budget plan.

Despite a few hang ups, the Florida House of Representatives passed a number of bills Wednesday including one that deals with what’s known as nuclear cost recovery. Regan McCarthy reports the measure is intended to put more rule sin place for Florida utilities using the provision to pay for building nuclear power plants.

There are only five states in the nation that do not have laws to discourage motorists from texting while driving.  Florida could be the state that brings the number to four.  But Thomas Andrew Gustafson reports the bill doing that has now passed the House, but a last-minute amendment could mean the kiss of death for the measure in the Senate.

Floridians could soon have a guaranteed right to speak at public meetings, if Governor Scott okays a bill now headed his way.  Jessica Palombo reports the public comment bill passed the Florida House today after clearing the Senate without a single “no” vote.

Florida could be close to joining 43 other states in removing the so-called “R-word” from state law. As Sascha Cordner reports, the measure replacing the words “mental retardation” with the term “intellectual disability” is now heading to the Governor’s desk.