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Capital Report: 04-11-2013

The controversial “parent trigger”, known by some as the “parent empowerment” bill, cleared its final committee in the Florida Senate today.  But that wasn’t before the discussion grew more impassioned and the issue itself a bit more complex.  That’s because of an amendment that attached itself to the bill in the committee.  Bill opponents say that amendment makes the measure more to their liking.  But Lynn Hatter reports the change also may have watered the bill down, infuriating supporters of the original legislation.

"The Normalcy Bill" is a nickname for the legislation Governor Scott signed into law today [on Thursday.] Jessica Palombo reports, children’s advocates are celebrating the new law they say will give the state’s more than seven-thousand foster children lives like any other child.

The Senate version of an inmate re-entry bill looks a little different now. In some Florida lawmakers own words, it was essentially gutted at its second committee stop Thursday—A move that even took the bill’s sponsor by surprise. As Sascha Cordner reports, while the measure still cleared a Criminal Justice budget panel, it wound up pitting Republicans against Republicans.

The state’s nuclear cost recovery program is a controversial one. It lets power companies charge customers for the cost of a nuclear plant before they even start building one. And in a number of cases, companies have been charging customers for years with no sign of an end in sight. Regan McCarthy reports that’s led some to question whether the companies will ever build the plants and to lawmakers proposing some new rules to ensure consumers get something for what they’re paying for.

Florida Governor Rick Scott ran nearly two miles to the State Capitol Building this morning to start the yearly Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit the Special Olympics.  Thomas Andrew Gustafson was among those awaiting the governor and hundreds of other runners, which included Attorney General Pam Bondi, other high-ranking politicos, law officers, and Special Olympics athletes.