legisalture 2013

It’s the halfway point of this year’s legislative session and the Florida House has released its plan for spending for the upcoming fiscal year. The house’s budget plan comes in at $74.4 billion dollars with education and healthcare getting the biggest share of the increase.

Florida House of Representatives

Proposals before the Florida House Finance and Tax Subcommittee usually deal with property or retirement. But on Thursday the committee’s chairman, Rep. Ritch Workman, made a different kind of proposal, the kind that involves a diamond ring.

The so called “Parent Trigger” bill that riled Democrats, teacher’s union and parent groups last year—is back. The bill would give parents in failing public schools a say in the fate of that school. Those opposed to the bill have pretty much conceded it will pass the legislature this year—but they’re not willing to go down without a fight.

A trio of bills having to do with alternative energy sources passed through a House subcommittee on Tuesday. The most debate surrounded a proposed public-records exemption for high-tech companies trying to win business from public utility companies.

Companies trying to win business from public utility companies could have their information shielded from the public, if a bill passes the Florida Legislature. Major city utility companies, like the ones in Jacksonville and Orlando, want to keep the tech companies’ information secret during the bidding process.

Senate Democrats want Governor Rick Scott to form a multi-state partnership to try and stabilize property insurance rates. Senator Jeremy Ring, a Margate Democrat, says the idea is for states to share the risk in an effort to offset costs.

“Right now, even in our premiums, our premiums are priced based on risk. So if there’s a lower risk, then it would be simple to assume that our rates, while not necessarily lower, would stabilize more,” he said.