A bill that would seal public utility records from public inspection breezed through the House Governmental Operations Committee on Monday. Only Rep. Mary Brennan, D-Pinellas Park, voted against the measure, which supporters say would protect women from abusive husbands or others who seek to find their home addresses. Rep. Cynthia Chestnut, D-Gainesville, sponsored the bill at the request of Gainesville city officials who were angered when reporters identified the tenants of apartments where five college students were murdered in 1991.
A key element in efforts to provide health insurance to more Floridians is a bill that would help small employers obtain coverage for their workers. The Commerce Committee unanimously sent the bill to the full Senate on Monday. The legislation would require insurance companies to issue certain basic coverage plans to employers with three to 25 workers at their request. Fifty-nine percent of all Florida employers fall into that category, and they employ 1.7-million people.
The Legislative Hot Line, which people can call to find out the status of bills, is (800) 342-1827. The service is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.