Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

House bill would curb double-dipping on state's payroll

So long, senators: Majority Leader Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, left, and Minority Leader Steven Geller, D-Hallandale Beach, were all smiles Wednesday on the floor of the state Senate as they were honored by colleagues. Both are leaving the Senate.


So long, senators: Majority Leader Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, left, and Minority Leader Steven Geller, D-Hallandale Beach, were all smiles Wednesday on the floor of the state Senate as they were honored by colleagues. Both are leaving the Senate.

Bill takes aim
at double-dippers on state payroll

State employees who retire would have to wait 12 months before going back to work for the state under a bill approved by the Florida House Wednesday.

The curb on "double-dipping" state employees also prevents such returning workers from accruing a second state pension. And it requires supervisors to notify the governor, the House speaker and Senate president to justify hiring a retiree, said the sponsor Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill.

In an 89-23 vote, Schenck succeeded in attaching the provision to a retirement bill (SB 2848) that passed the House 114-3. The bill authorizes, but doesn't fund, a study to look into "different retirement options for returning employees," according to the bill.

The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where a similar measure was killed in committee.

Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, vowed on Wednesday to strip the amendment aimed at curbing double-dipping or to make sure the bill is not heard before the Legislature adjourns Friday.

"If I don't have enough votes to do it, I won't take up the bill," Lawson said.

Senate sends energy bill on to governor

With a 39-1 vote, the Florida Senate sent to Gov. Charlie Crist an omnibus energy bill he has made one of his top legislative priorities.

But to do so, the Senate accepted a last-minute House amendment pushed by automakers that prevents the state's environmental agency from setting strong auto emissions standards at the same levels as California.

Such a new standard would have to pass legislative approval under the bill (HB 7135). Crist signed off on the change.

The bill creates a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, which must come back for legislative approval. And it includes utility-friendly language, such as making it easier for utilities to run transmission lines through state lands. It also enshrines the promotion of nuclear power as part of the state's strategy to pursue low-carbon power.

At the behest of Publix and other businesses, the bill also would prohibit local governments from banning plastic shopping bags, as San Francisco has done.

Florida Forever, well, for another 10 years

Florida Forever, the state's land-buying program for conservation, will be extended another 10 years under a bill (SB 542) the House unanimously sent to the governor Wednesday.

Crist is expected to sign the plan extending the program to 2020, with $5.3-billion in bonding authority over that 10-year period. In this year's budget, the Florida Forever program has $300-million to spend on land acquisition. The Senate unanimously approved the plan last week.

The bill includes new twists, including money to buy conservation easements on agricultural land and more money to purchase and conserve working waterfronts, like historic fishing docks.

Commuter rail plan may be at end of line

A $650-million plan for an Orlando commuter rail appeared to be in jeopardy Wednesday after it was stripped from a major transportation bill (SB 1978).

Sponsoring Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, said opposition to the plan to provide private railroad company CSX immunity from liability when it runs freight trains on the commuter track threatened to sink the rest of the plan.

The House has approved the plan, but a growing number of senators oppose the liability language, which CSX demanded if it's to sell the rail line for the project.

"I think the liability issue's dead," said Senate Majority Leader Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, a top advocate.

Times staff writers Jennifer Liberto and David DeCamp contributed to this report.

House bill would curb double-dipping on state's payroll 04/30/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 1, 2008 12:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Shelter duty, charter schools, teacher pay and more


    ON THE JOB TRAINING: Michael Vasallo learns how to run an evacuation shelter on his 21st day as principal of Dunedin Highland Middle School.

    First year principal Michael Vasallo, right, got called into hurricane shelter duty one month into his job.
  2. Forecast: Sunny skies, warm temperatures to rule across Tampa Bay this week


    After periods of heavy rain in some parts of Tampa Bay over the weekend, the region can expect sunny skies, and warm condition to prevail through the workweek.

    [10Weather WTSP]
  3. PolitiFact Florida: How would Florida fare in Graham-Cassidy health care bill?


    Following a sharp rebuke by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hit the airwaves to defend his bill that would undo much of the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
  4. Whatever happened to the Zika epidemic?


    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting Zika. Cases of the virus are down dramatically in Florida.
  5. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]