1. Archive

Adultery has no place in marriage bill

Published Oct. 1, 2005

Rep. Lois Frankel's reasoning was simple: If a ban on gay weddings was good for marriage, then a ban on adulterous couples later getting married was even better.

That's why she unsuccessfully pushed for an amendment on the House floor Tuesday to a same-sex marriage bill that would also have prevented two people who commit adultery from marrying each other.

"I think if we're going to defend the state of marriage, then this is a good way," said Frankel, D-West Palm Beach.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Johnnie Byrd, R-Plant City, was not buying it, and urged his colleagues to vote it down.

Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, said Frankel's amendment was intended solely to sabotage the bill. "We know what this is designed to do, which is to bring down Rep. Byrd's good bill," Feeney said.

Frankel's amendment failed, 86 to 24.

Byrd's measure is scheduled for a final House vote Wednesday, when it is expected to pass easily.


Millennium's cost to state: $62-million

After two weeks of intense meetings, a state task force has a new price tag for fixing a glitch in state computers caused by the upcoming millennium: $62-million.

Although the number sounds high, it is less than half the initial $150-million to $250-million that state officials first estimated to fix the problem, caused by the inability of outdated computers to properly process the last two zeros in the year 2000.

The task force also recommended changes in state personnel laws to allow more flexibility in hiring programers to fix the problem.


Senate bill targets deadbeat parents

A Senate committee approved a series of sweeping changes intended to improve the state's ailing child support enforcement system.

In a unanimous vote, a Senate justice committee approved legislation that would toughen penalties for deadbeat parents, increase the efficiency of child support collections and allow for better tracking of those who owe child support.

The state has nearly 900,000 child support cases, but only about a third have the court orders needed to enforce collections.


Charter schools win, lose round

The Florida Cabinet handed down a split decision on charter schools Tuesday in the first two appeals of rejections by county school boards.

Ruling in the first of two appeals of application rejections by local school boards, the Cabinet recommended that Brevard County's board reconsider its refusal to charter the Cocoa Academy for Aerospace Technology.

But it supported the Seminole County board's denial of a charter to a group in Winter Springs.

Former Florida State University President Stanley Marshall, a member of the board of directors of the rejected Franklin Charter School, accused school boards across the state of resisting the charter concept.

"They have a vested interest in seeing it fail," Marshall told the Cabinet. Marshall is on the board of Florida Charter Schools, which had proposed using the public Winter Springs High School after hours to operate Franklin Charter School. It would have been a night school for students at risk of dropping out.