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Senate committee looks at defining fiscal impact

By Regan McCarthy

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-988822.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Lawmakers are considering legislation that would create a formula for deciding how much money a bill could cost a local government without needing a two-thirds majority vote to pass. As Regan McCarthy reports lawmakers have been following a 10-cents per person rule, but want to get the provision on the books.

In Florida, legislators can't pass a law that would cause a "significant financial impact" on a city or county government without approval from a two-thirds vote. But Republican Senator Michael Bennett of Bradenton says it's not clear what a "significant financial impact" is.

"Right now the legislature uses about 10-cents per resident, which is currently about 1.8 million dollars."

Bennett says the goal is to define the amount so that future legislatures will follow the example the current legislature has set. The bill has been introduced in committee, but members have not yet taken a vote.