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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Miami-Dade lawmaker hazed in Senate panel



Sen. Oscar Braynon II, a Miami Gardens Democrat elected to the Florida Senate earlier this year, presented his first bill before the chamber's transportation committee Tuesday morning.

Braynon made a point to note that it was not his first bill overall, having put forth two proposals (here and here) in other committees.

He then spoke about Senate Bill 2036, a move to allow cameras on school buses to capture images or video of cars that illegally pass buses when their side stop sign is outstretched.

"I'm not going to be able to support" the bill, said an apologetic Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, admitting that he told Braynon earlier he would back the proposal.

"You know we love you," said Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, the committee's chairman. "But sometimes -- tough love."

The committee -- its lone Democrat, Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa -- voted unanimously against the measure.

Then, without missing a beat, Latvala said the administrative assistant had not properly recorded the vote and asked senators to vote again.

This time, they all said yes.

"Welcome to the Florida Senate, Senator Braynon," a jolly Latvala said, to much laughter. He added, with a little nostalgia: "We used to have fun like that...all the time."

(The vote was only for show for one committee member. Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, actually recorded his vote as a no. Garcia has pushed a bill to repeal red-light cameras. "You all know how I feel about cameras," he told the committee.)

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 11:57am]


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