Capital Report: 12-13-2013

Dec 16, 2013

Come the month of March, the Florida Capitol will be filled with lawmakers, bent on – as their title implies – making new laws.  But at least one lawmaker wants to use the upcoming session as an opportunity for some statutory spring cleaning.  As Ryan Benk reports, a bill repealing a ban on cohabitation in Florida may open a dialogue about the need to strip out-of-date legislation from the books.

Florida’s 2014 Florida legislative session is still two-and-a-half months away, but this week [Dec. 10] the majority Republican caucus officially chose who will be Senate President after next fall’s elections. As Jessica Palombo reports, 44-year-old Orlando Republican Andy Gardiner says he’s planning to focus on the improving the economy, conserving natural resources and reforming education.

Under which of the following circumstances would it be financially beneficial to you to borrow money to buy something now and repay it with future income?

a.)    When some clothes you like go on sale?

b.)    When the interest on the loan is greater than the interest you get on your savings?

Or C.)  When you need a car to get a much better paying job?

According to NPR’s financial literacy quiz, the answer’s C – if getting the car means a much better paying job, you should be able to easily pay back the loan *and* save.   Maybe that seems like an easy question to you, but Regan McCarthy reports a group of lawmakers say it’d be a tough one for Florida’s high school and college students. That’s why they’re pushing for a measure that would require kids to take a stand alone financial literacy class in order to graduate.

Florida lawmakers are reconsidering a legislative effort that failed last year.  It’s aimed at reducing the chances of former inmates coming back into the state’s prison system. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, while most consider getting ex-inmates on the path to getting a job and a house a good thing, others say some parts of the bill need more work.