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Capital Report: 03-05-2013

As the legislature kicks off its annual lawmaking session, Medicaid is shaping up to be a big battle. Florida would see billions of dollars flow into the state over the next three years if it extends Medicaid coverage to about a million low-income people under the federal health law. But as Lynn Hatter reports, with the House standing opposed, the Governor in favor and the Senate still debating—and the legislature is starting session already at an impasse.

When he was sworn into office, Florida Senate President Don Gaetz named ethics reform as his top priority this year. And Regan McCarthy reports as the 60 day lawmaking session kicks off, an ethics reform measure has passed unanimously.

A trio of bills having to do with alternative energy sources passed through a House Subcommittee today [on Tuesday]. As Jessica Palombo reports, the most debate surrounded a proposed public-records exemption for high-tech companies trying to win business from public utility companies.

A bill has cleared its first stop in the Florida Legislature that would block law enforcement officers from seizing personal electronic devices, like cell phones, without a search warrant. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, opponents say moving the bill forward is a bit premature, while the very same matter is being looked at in the courts.

Finally, on this first day of session, Thomas Andrew Gustafson was checking out what the presence of lawmakers for sixty days each year means to business and jobs in the Capital City.