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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate passes constitutional amendment




The Florida Senate passed the joint resolution by 26 to 11; two more than it needed.

But with a very strange vote: Democrats voting for it are:  Sen. Al Lawson, Sen. Mandy Dawson, Sen. Larcenia Bullard and Sen. Jeremy Ring. Republicans voting against it are Sen. J.D. Alexander, Sen. Rudy Garcia, Sen. Alex Villalobos and Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla.

The vote shows that it's going to take some work to get all 24 votes when the deal finally comes back from the House.

Ring said his vote for the bill doesn't mean he'll vote for it, when it returns.

"We've got a serious economic crisis in the state, I think the problems are a lot deeper than the politics make it out to be," Ring said.

Alexander said that he might consider voting for the package on its return, but only "if it had some way of creating equality for small cities and small counties that are significantly disadvantaged."

Miami Republicans voted against the bill because of the changes to the tax package which limits the property tax break for poor seniors to the first $100,000 of a home's value. Senators Garcia, Villalobos and Diaz de la Portilla said too many poor seniors in their county wouldn't see much relief.

"This bill is seriously flawed, it is  a bad product and it is, in my opinion, seriously on life-support," Sen.  Diaz de la Portilla said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:21am]


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