Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – All eyes will again be on the Florida House of Representatives Thursday as the legislative session enters its final 48 hours. But, unlike the last two days, business should move through the House quickly.
Over the past two days, House Democrats have slowed business in the Legislature’s lower chamber to a crawl. House Democrats invoked a rarely used parliamentary procedure that forced all bills to be read in their entirety before they could be voted upon.
Democrats did this trying to force House Republicans to allow the state to increase Medicaid enrollments to more than 1 million more Floridians. The expansion would be fully funded by the federal government for the first three years and had support from the Senate and Governor Rick Scott. The House didn’t move forward with any action and the Democrats responded by slowing business.
But, Thursday, the House can hear bills in messages today, or bills already passed by the Senate, according to the News Service of Florida. The House can also deal with bills passed by the House and amended by the Senate and sent the House, according to the NSF.
In addition, Democrats can’t slow traffic in the House Thursday. House rules don’t allow bills in messages or conference reports to be read in full using the stalling tactic employed by House Democrats over the past two days.
One major bill that is expected to receive a vote after 1:37 p.m. is the state budget. State law requires a 72-hour cooling off period after the budget is filed before a final vote can be taken. The 72-hour period clears at 1:37 p.m. Thursday.
Another major bill that will get a vote in the House will be the elections bill, which will give county election officials ability to increase early voting, increase early voting sites and other election changes, according to the News Service of Florida.
The other bill of importance to South Florida will be the Sun Life Stadium renovation bill. As of Thursday morning, no vote had been officially scheduled by the House.
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