Dramatic tie vote defeats a Joe Negron priority
Another reaffirmation that in legislative committees, every vote counts: A House committee in dramatic fashion Thursday defeated on a 7-7 vote a bill that would have required Florida's nine regional children's services boards to be re-authorized by voter referendums every six years.
The bill was a priority of Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who said that giving the councils power to collect property taxes in perpetuity is "taxation without representation." Negron had no difficulty getting the bill through a Senate panel a day earlier. But in the House Military & Local Affairs Policy Committee, it was a very different story. A frustrated Negron could only watch as his bill went down in flames; the panel's chirman, Rep. Dorothy Hukill, said House rules bar senators from testifying before House committees.
Voting yes (7 Republicans): Reps. Janet Adkins, Esteban Bovo, Chris Dorworth, Doc Renuart, Charles Van Zant, Juan Zapata and chair Hukill. Voting no (5 D's, 2 R's): Mack Bernard, Keith Fitzgerald, Evan Jenne, Janet Long, Mark Pafford, Ron Schultz and John Wood (R's in italics).
Schultz, of Homosassa in Citrus County, appeared to be the decisive vote. Opponents of the bill had him pegged as a yes, and Schultz said he did change his mind and voted no, recalling that as a former Pinellas County resident, the county's Juvenile Welfare Board has done many positive things for the community.