Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Today in Tallahassee: guns, campaign cash, abortion and more

TALLAHASSEE — Today, the first day of the session's third week, begins with a bang.

Consider:

Guns: An NRA gun bill is up in the House Community & Military Affairs Committee. It would slap heavy fines on any local official who votes to regulate guns. The measure, designed in reaction to South Miami and Palm Beach County regulations, is designed to reinforce the law that reserves all Florida gun control to the NRA-friendly Legislature.

Campaign cash: In the Senate Ethics & Election Committee, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla wants to dramatically expand contribution limits from $500 to: $10,000 for gubernatorial candidates and committees that support or oppose them; $5,000 for other statewide candidates and committees that support or oppose them; $2,500 for legislative candidates and committees that support or oppose them; and $1,000 for county office candidates and committees that support or oppose them.

"Misleading" ballots: The committee also will hear a bill giving the Legislature a second chance at keeping measures on the ballot that courts declare "misleading." The bill also would prohibit paid-signature gatherers for initiatives from being paid on a per-signature basis and would ensure that they're not felons.

Abortion: The House Civil Justice Subcommittee plans to vote on restrictions to Florida's parental-notice law for minors seeking abortions. The bill says a court can grant a waiver of the notice requirement if the judge finds by "clear and convincing evidence" that notification isn't in the best interest of the minor. It says that "best interest" cannot include financial matters. So poverty can't be part of the court issue. Also, judges must weigh "whether there may be any undue influence by another on the minor's decision to have an abortion."

Medicaid: The Senate's Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee will release its budget, and it's going to be ugly for the people and businesses that depend on the $22 billion program. Chairman Joe Negron said he wants to cut more than $1 billion.

Other Senate budget committees will meet Monday as well to review their draft budgets. The budget — the only constitutionally required bill the Legislature must pass in the 60-day session — is coming into clearer focus now that state economists met Friday to give their final forecast for general-revenue tax collects.

As expected, the revenue collections will be lower than expected. However, not too much lower. Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander expected a $200 million hit. Economists forecast a $216 million shortfall for next budget year, but they said this year the state will take in a little more than originally anticipated. That makes the bottom-line reduction about $135 million.

Total estimated budget shortfall: $3.75 billion.

Today in Tallahassee: guns, campaign cash, abortion and more 03/21/11 [Last modified: Monday, March 21, 2011 10:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott

  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Manuel Noriega, Panamanian strongman toppled in U.S. invasion, dies at 83

    Obituaries

    Gen. Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman and onetime American ally who was toppled from power in a 1989 U.S. invasion and who spent more than two decades imprisoned on drug dealing and conspiracy convictions, died late Monday. He was most likely 83.

    Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega waves to newsmen after a state council meeting, at the presidential palace in Panama City, where they announced the new president of the republic in 1989. Panama's ex-dictator Noriega died Monday, May 29, 2017, in a hospital in Panama City. He was 83. [Associated Press]
  4. Austin Mahone talks Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, his pop evolution and more

    Blogs

    Austin Mahone has vivid memories from his childhood visits to see his grandparents in Tampa Bay.

  5. Motorcyclist killed in Pinellas Park crash

    Accidents

    A motorcyclist was killed early Tuesday morning when he left the roadway and possibly struck a parked vehicle in Pinellas Park.