Representative Irv Slosberg

Rep. Emily Slosberg's twitter/Florida Senate

There’s a bipartisan effort underway relating to driving legislation. They include enhancing texting while driving penalties and making sure Florida public school students stay on campus for lunch.

Keta Browning / WFSU News

New public safety legislation is hitting the table this session with distracted drivers at the top of the list. When it comes to texting while driving, State Sen. Maria Sachs (D-Broward) says slow your roll or ante up.

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While the Senate has said it won’t start any talks to reform Florida’s Retirement System this year, a House panel is moving forward.

During Wednesday’s presentation, House State Affairs Committee members heard that Florida’s Retirement System is funded at 86.6 percent—a percentage proponents of the system say means it’s, “actuarially sound.”

A new bill would make a fatal crash due to texting while driving a felony.
Jason Weaver via Flickr

Under a new proposal, texting drivers could be hit with a felony if they’re involved in a fatal crash.  But the newest texting while driving bill is meeting some resistance in the statehouse.

It’s already illegal to text while driving in Florida, but Rep. Irv Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) thinks ratcheting up penalties will be a more effective deterrent.  But Matt Willard from the Florida association of criminal defense attorneys says current law is broad enough to cover texting.

Florida guardrails
Daniel Oines via Flickr

A Florida lawmaker is warning the state’s highway guardrails may be unsafe. Hazard concerns and a lawsuit verdict have caused at least 13 other states to halt installation of a metal guardrail also used in Florida.

MGN Online

A measure that could have allowed for speed limits to be raised as high as 75 miles per hour on certain Florida highways is no longer in play.

While he admits there are times he’d like to go faster, Governor Rick Scott says he decided to listen to the advice of opponents to the measure and veto the bill.

The Florida House passed a bill Friday that merges two pension reform proposals: one dealing with local pensions and another dealing with the state’s pension system. But, it’s unclear what will happen in the other chamber now that the combined bill is still two separate proposals in the Senate.

Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) is one of the sponsors of the merged House proposal. He contributed the part of the proposal that deals with overhauling the Florida Retirement System.

The Florida House is now poised to vote on a newly merged pension reform proposal—a huge priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford. The bill that passed its only committee earlier this week was taken up on the floor Thursday over the objections of Democrats who oppose the measure.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

This week is Road Safety Week in Florida, and to commemorate the week, state lawmakers joined by law enforcement gave an update Wednesday on several traffic safety bills that are moving—and may not be moving—in the Legislature.

Road Safety Week Highlights Traffic Safety

Florida Sheriff’s Association Executive Director Steve Casey says Road Safety Week is a time to honor and remember traffic accident victims who have been killed or injured.

A couple of state lawmakers are trying to up the penalties for people who cause death from texting while driving. The newly filed bill follows a similar measure moving through the Florida Legislature calling for a ban on texting while driving in the state.

The first bill in the Florida House has been filed for the coming 2013 Legislative Session, and it’s a measure that’s been touted as “family and child friendly.”

Democratic Representative Irv Slosberg filed the bill that would let school districts sell ad space on their buses to certain companies.  He’s filed this measure before, and during the last Legislative Session, he told a House panel of lawmakers that the money from the sale is expected to offset costs for school districts.

 In the wake of a new report highlighting an increase in fatalities among teen drivers, Governor Rick Scott has declared this   Florida Road Safety Week. James Call reports, Scott joined law enforcement officials and paramedics on the steps of the Capitol to call attention to the hazards of impaired and distracted driving.