House

The Florida House passed close to 70 bills Wednesday, ranging from a bill that allows the eviction of tenants on holidays to one that would essentially eliminate a wage-theft protection program in Miami-Dade. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, while some legislation passed with little debate, other measures did not have both parties seeing eye-to-eye.

Florida lawmakers are keeping one eye on the bottom line and another on the clock. Joint subcommittees are working on budgets for their area of expertise. Their spending plans will be folded into an overall state budget. James Call reports the subcommittees have until Friday to finish their work. That’s when the House and Senate budget chiefs plan to step in and take control of the negotiations.

 

Lawmakers in the Florida House are looking into legislation that would give tax breaks to businesses in the state. Regan McCarthy reports legislators are considering a measure that combines several of Governor Rick Scott’s business tax initiatives like doubling the corporate income tax exemption. It’s a move that would let thousands of businesses skip the tax and that Scott says will grow jobs.

The Florida House Thursday passed a $69.2 billion proposed budget. It cuts payments to hospitals, directs more money to classrooms and increases tuition rates for college students. The House is ahead of the Senate in crafting a state spending plan for next year.  Senate budget subcommittees are still finalizing their recommendations. And James Call tells us, leading lawmakers predict there will be a robust discussion of certain items when the budget proposal makes it to the Senate floor.

Wednesday’s  Florida House Session was a marathon.  Tom Flanigan reports members kicked things off promptly at a quarter-til-eleven in the morning and were scheduled to plow through the budget process until seven in the evening.

There was a palpable sense of urgency in the Florida House of Representatives today:

“We are officially today at the halftime point of our sixty-day session.  And last week we passed the redistricting bills and today we’ll begin consideration of the second of our two constitutional duties, which is to pass a balanced budget.”

A Florida House Committee Friday approved a redistricting plan criticized by anti-gerrymandering groups. James Call reports the effort to draw new legislative and congressional boundaries took a dramatic turn when Chairman Will Weatherford blasted the critics after they submitted a last-minute alternative proposal and then declined to explain it to the committee.

Several bills related to the reproductive rights of women are making their way through the House. Regan McCarthy reports one is a resolution declaring this week “Reproductive Rights Awareness week,” three would put more rules in place for when, where and why an abortion can be performed.

The House Redistricting Committee is moving closer to choosing new congressional and state house maps. James Call reports Friday, lawmakers held a three hour workshop on proposals and the committee chairman says he intends to bring a plan to the full House in two weeks.