Representative Ritch Workman

Florida's part-time legislature is turning into a full-time job, but without the pay. And that's forced some lawmakers to find a second job. The House's powerful Rules chairman is one such legislator with a part-time gig. He's an Uber driver--and he's been surprising passengers in his car for the past few days.

Florida Channel

During a visit to the 28th annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Governor Rick Scott signed a measure into law that creates three sales tax holidays this year.

“The bill I signed today is $121 million right back into Florida citizens' hands, including the sales tax holiday for going back to school and the sales tax holiday to get ready for a hurricane. We know we have to be prepared for hurricanes. Hopefully, we won’t have it this year, but if you do, you know from May 31st to June 8th, you won’t have to pay sales tax,” said Scott.

Sarah Sosiak

Florida sales tax holidays have become popular tools encouraging consumer spending on items like school supplies.  But the omnibus tax holiday bill that passed the House Thursday is leaving some lawmakers wanting more.

Besides back-to-school shopping, Rep. Ritch Workman’s (R-Melbourne) bill includes temporary exemptions for energy-efficient appliances, hurricane preparedness supplies, and gym memberships. It also offers a permanent exemption for child car seats and bicycle helmets.

Wikimedia Commons

The United States, like many nations, struggles with its trade gap – that’s the difference between the number of products it imports and those it exports. But one product that might not seem like it needs to be imported are the flags flying atop government buildings. One Florida lawmaker has filed a bill attempting to ensure those flags are American-made.

Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 600-thousand unmarried Florida couples are sleeping under the same roof, and according to Florida statutes, they’re breaking the law. Now, one lawmaker is seeking to repeal what he calls an archaic rule.

The state law prohibiting cohabitation has been on Florida’s books since the 1800s. But Weston’s first-term, Democratic State Representative Richard Stark said he didn’t know about the law until a student asked him about repealing it during a high school bill-writing contest.

Workman Photo (www.myfloridahouse.gov)/Textbook (PearsonSchool.com)

A Florida lawmaker is considering legislation that would give the public input on the content found in Florida school textbooks. His overall aim is to cut down on what he calls the “Islam-bias” in state schools.

Melbourne Republican Representative Ritch Workman says Prentice Hall’s “World History” book not only puts an inaccurate spin on Islam, it also dedicates a whole chapter to the religion…

PearsonSchool.com

A dispute over whether certain Florida schools should ditch their history textbooks could become a larger statewide issue. Critics say certain textbooks are biased towards Islam at the expense of other religions, and they hope to remove what they call “Islam-bias” textbooks from Florida schools.

A group called Citizens for National Security wants to have more input over some history books used by Florida schoolchildren.  President William Saxton says he’d like to remove what he calls “Islam bias” in history texts.

Both supporters and opponents of an alimony reform bill got a big surprise when Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed the proposed reform late Wednesday night. But, that might not be the end to the alimony debate.

Alimony Reform Bill Passes First Subcommittee

Feb 14, 2013

A push to overhaul Florida’s alimony system cleared its first subcommittee on Wednesday. The bill passed through overwhelmingly, despite strong objections from the Florida Bar Family Law Section.

Permanent alimony payer, 62-year-old Tarie MacMillan testified, she cannot afford to retire because she has to pay her ex-husband 65 percent of every paycheck, even though he refuses to work, until the day one of them dies.

A Senate panel looking at Criminal Justice issues unanimously passed its first bill Tuesday. Senate Bill 92 would ban agencies from using drones to spy on citizens.

The bill’s sponsor Republican Senator Joe Negron says the measure bans law enforcement and government agencies from using drones to gather evidence or other information by monitoring Florida residents. Negron says the bill intends to protect citizens’ right to privacy.

Twenty-five North and Central Florida lawmakers have sent a letter to the President of Citizen’s Property Insurance backing the company’s plan to increase rates for new policy holders above a 10-percent cap imposed by the legislature. But a number of South Florida lawmakers say they’ve got legislation ready to file that would block that move.

Cheating spouses could soon get a break in divorce hearings. A bill that would change the way adultery can be used to award alimony payments has cleared the House. Lynn Hatter reports it’s a part of a larger bill that seeks to scale back how the courts award alimony payments in marriage dissolution cases.

Divorces can get messy, especially when it’s because of cheating.  In many of those cases, the cheater ends up having to pay his spouse alimony. And under Florida law—that alimony can be permanent. But a bill by Representative Ritch Workman, is trying to change that.