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Capital Report: 03-09-2012

It’s the final day of the 2012 Florida Legislative session and lawmakers are expecting to work late into the night.  James Call reports lobbyists; reporters and lawmakers themselves are on guard for last-minute amendments that make significant changes to state policy. 

The Florida Supreme Court says the Senate’s new voting district maps are unconstitutional. Regan McCarthy reports today marks the last constitutionally required day of Florida’s 60-day regular legislative session, but the Supreme Court’s ruling means lawmakers will have to come back to Tallahassee for a special session to sort out the maps.

The Florida Senate has rejected a proposal that would have given parents a greater say in the fate of failing public schools. The bill had been stalled all week as opponents worked to gather enough votes to kill it and as Lynn Hatter reports, after more than an hour and a half of questions and debate, the Senate made its decision.

It’s now up to the Governor to decide if state employees should be required to “pee in a cup.” As Sascha Cordner reports, a bill allowing state agencies to randomly drug-test their employees passed in the Florida Senate on the last day of session, but not without heated debate.

For the past few lawmaking sessions, a true artist has been laboring in the fourth floor rotunda of the Florida Capitol.  Tom Flanigan reports there’s a reason Sculptor Michael Jernigan is creating his latest project in one of the Capitol’s busiest places…