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Capital Report: 03-21-2013

The Florida Senate has unveiled an alternative plan to expanding Medicaid to an additional one million low-income Floridians under the federal health law. The proposal, created by Republican Senator Joe Negron would rely on the state’s low-cost insurance market for children. Lynn Hatter reports, Negron presented his proposal Thursday before the Senate’s Appropriations committee which gave it the green-light to begin moving through the chamber.

A bill to ban what are known as Internet cafes is poised for a final vote in the Florida House. Regan McCarthy reports the measure got a hearing Thursday and rolled over to third reading, but some say the measure is moving too fast. They’re worried lawmakers haven’t had time to fully consider the impact of the proposal.

Should the byproduct of coal power plants be used as building material? Do environmentalists and the farming industry agree on Everglades restoration? Thomas-Andrew Gustafson reports, at the Florida House Environmental Preservation and Conservation Thursday the answers turned out are both Yes.

A bill that would likely expand the use of alcohol-detection devices in DUI offenders’ cars stalled in a Senate committee today [on Thursday.] Jessica Palombo reports, panel members had concerns about the cost and feasibility of the measure.

Eliminating the state’s pension plan option for new state employees is a priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford, and a bill doing just that went one step closer to coming up for a Floor vote. As Sascha Cordner reports, Florida lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill Friday. And, on Thursday, the bill started its vetting process on the House floor with many Democrats already showing their opposition to the bill.

Last year the Florida legislature passed laws reforming the state’s personal injury protection or PIP laws.  Lawmakers decreased how much money insurance companies had to pay out and who could be paid.  The law was an effort to decrease insurance fraud, but as Steven Rodriguez reports, a ruling by a Florida judge has temporarily blocked the reforms.