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Capital Report: 03-14-2013

Rival Pension reform bills are moving through both chambers of the Florida Legislature. The House version closes the pension plan to new employees, while the Senate version still offers two options within Florida’s Retirement System. As Sascha Cordner reports, while both bills passed out of their respective committees Thursday, the road to get to that point was vastly different.

Right after the House committee meeting Sascha Cordner just told us about, swarms of angry public employees jammed the Capitol Rotunda.  Jessica Palombo was there, too.

It’s not only State of Florida employee pensions that are causing consternation at the Capitol.  Local government pension plan reform is also in the air.  Although the state doesn’t administer Florida city and county pension plans, it still sets some rules about how they function.  Lynn Hatter reports critics charge those plans’ numbers don’t add up.

Florida’s efforts to reform the state’s elections system are moving forward. Regan McCarthy reports a House panel looked at one aspect of that during a committee meeting today. The group considered a measure that would change the state’s campaign finance rules. Supporters say the bill will increase transparency, but other worry it will just end up putting more money in the system.

Some would argue that the mythical “Mr. Smith” doesn’t get to Washington much anymore.  But at the Capitol of Florida, Mr. Smith’s children often show up by the hundreds.  Ryan Benk reports how two groups of young people had no trouble accessing their seat of state government.