Senate President Don Gaetz
This is the way the legislative session begins: Not with a bang but with a whimper.
The next time you need a medication, a doctor may not be the one prescribing it.
If an expansion of a Florida program that helps low-income children attend private schools, many of them religious, gets a thumbs up, it could mean some restrictions on eligibility could be removed.
A House bill allowing some undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates is ready for the House floor. On Wednesday it was unanimously approved by the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee which was listed as the last stop for the bill.
In another thinly veiled shot at his chief rival in the November elections, Gov. Rick Scott will use his State of the State address on Tuesday to call for a repeal of a 2009 law allowing universities to increase tuition up to 15 percent a year.
Tax cuts, stiffer sex offender laws, expanding school vouchers and, as always, the state budget will be among the issues Florida legislators will consider over their annual 60-day session.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved four bills aimed at strengthening laws dealing with sexual predators.
The suicide of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers in foster care shocked the child-welfare system in 2009. It led to a series of recommendations about Florida’s use of psychotropic medications on foster kids and how to protect already-traumatized children from sexual abuse by other abused children.
Thanks to a budget surplus and an election year, Florida’s children could gain protection, education, developmental screening and other services during the upcoming legislative session.
Republican legislative leaders are pitching an aggressive state “GI Bill” that would attract more military veterans to Florida and attract more people to the Florida National Guard.