Wednesday, 21 April 2010 14:35

Update from Tallahasse: Legislative Session 2010 Week Seven

Written by  Greg Giordano
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Florida State SealTallahassee has been a blur of activity as the legislative committees head towards the finish line.  Unless called together by the Senate president, Senate committees finish business on day 50.  The Senate floor was very busy as good bills were either sent to the House for consideration or to the governor for his signature. Additionally, the veto of a high-profile education bill grabbed the headlines as the week wound to a close.  To wrap things up the long-awaited budget conference will begin April 19at 12:15 PM. 

Governor Charlie Crist exercised his veto power and ended the march towards law Senate Bill 6 by Senator John Thrasher of Jacksonville was on.  The bill, which was sent to the governor on April 9, received it veto on April 15.  The bill would have made fundamental changes to the way in which teachers are compensated
Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Senator Joe Negron of Palm City, which will create the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force within the Department of Financial Services, was heard on the Senate floor this week.  The Strike Force will coordinate efforts to eliminate Medicaid and  public assistance fraud.  The legislation is poised to pass the Senate upon its next reading.
Senate Bill 1196 by Senator Mike Fasano of New Port Richey passed the Senate unanimously on April 16.  The legislation makes major changes to assist communities facing financial strains in the current economy.  These provisions include authorization for a community association to suspend the voting rights and deny use of common areas to delinquent owners.  The bill also allows for the removal of officers and directors who are more than 90 days delinquent in obligations to the association as well as giving associations the authority to collect delinquent assessments from the tenant of a delinquent owner from the rental amounts due the owner.  The House of Representatives has an identical plan, sponsored by Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale.
Week 8 will see the budget conference continue the work that  began at the end of Week 7.  The committee process will end on Tuesday, April 20, so the number of bills available for a hearing on the Senate floor will be greatly reduced.  The final 10 days will see a flurry of activity on  both side of the Capitol as the budget is finalized and bills are pushed for their final passage.

Greg Giordano is the Chief Legislative Assistant to State Senator Mike Fasano. To read last week's update, go here.

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