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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate committee clears abortion funding and court confirmation for ballot



Two bills aimed at the 2012 ballots cleared their final committee Senate hurdle Friday as the Senate Rules Committee voted to put an amendment putting the ban on public funds for abortion into the state Constitution and advanced a measure to require Senate confirmation of Florida Supreme Court nominations.

"We do not want our public funds going for the public funding of abortions,'' said Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, the sponsor of the abortion funding amendment. She said that because laws can change the existing bans on the use of state and federal funds for abortion (except to protect the life of the mother) could change, the ban must be enshrined in the Constitution.

"We need to give Floridians a voice to say this should be part of our Constitution,'' she said.

Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff won approval for her plan to require the governor's appointments to the Florida Supreme Court to receive Senate confirmation, a requirement patterned after the appointment of federal Supreme Court justices. A plan to add the House's controversial court reform measure onto Bogdanoff's bill was withdrawn with no discussion.

[Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2011 10:06am]


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