Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

The Crumbs from Tallahassee. Bills you might not have heard about.

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm

First off, Happy Mother’s Day! I hope your day is full of hugs, flowers, cards, and after wards….much deserved rest. Kick the kids out of the house and take a moment for yourselves. You’ve earned it.

When we left off on Friday, the State Legislature in Tallahassee appeared to be spiraling down from sanity. Coloring books, pictures with squirrels, all signs of a body of government that had been pushed to the edge. They were at each others throats until 3:35 Saturday morning. That’s right, we had lawmakers sleep walking out of the capitol, at the same time we had UCF students stumbling out of pizza places on Church St.

Now, you can pick up the Sentinel or any big boy newspapers and get a rundown on the major pieces of legislation that might or might not have passed.

Let’s talk about the “under the radar” stuff:

ENDING SUNPASS DISCOUNT (Failed): Eliminates discount on prepaid tolls for those who buy SunPass Cards (SB 1252)- Yeah, because we don’t pay enough for tolls as is!

YOUTH ATHLETE CONCUSSIONS (Failed): Requires Florida High School Athletic Association to remove athletes showing signs of a concussion during a game or practice until they receive clearance from a certain physician. (SB 730/HB 301)- Why the heck didn’t this pass!? You’ll hear about this again on this blog.

OPEN HOUSE PARTIES (Passed): Imposes harsher penalties on adults who violate house party laws. (SB 746/HB 105)- I know two guys who won’t appreciate this law.

Opposed House Party Law

DANGEROUS DOGS (Passed): Dogs found as part of an animal-fighting ring won’t be automatically classified as dangerous. (SB 722/HB 4075)- You hear that Nikki, we’re good!

Good to know the law won't come after my lap dog

BARKING TREEFROG (Failed): Makes barking treefrog the state amphibian. (SB 502/HB 645)- Ironically, if found in a dog fighting ring it will be considered dangerous!

To be serious for a second.

COLLEGE CHOICE (Failed): Allows veterans who lived in Florida four years before entering armed forces to be admitted to any state bachelor’s program of their choice. (SB 894/HB 693) – See below

DRIVER’S LICENSE FEES (Failed): Reduces driver’s license fees for certain disabled veterans. (SB 368/HB 123)- I will remember lawmakers who voted against these. You’re telling me a disable Vet can’t be exempt from a license fee increase?.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE (Failed): Limits attorney’s fees in personal injury protection lawsuits. (SB 1694/HB 967)- They’ll be popping bottles at the Citrus Club over this one…

GOLF COURSES (Failed): Requires the Division of Recreation and Parks to hire Jack Nicklaus Design to build courses in state parks in every region of the state, creating a Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail. (SB 1846/HB 1239)- Unfortunately, the John Daly bill allowing open alcohol containers on golf courses also failed.

He'll be back..

DOCTORS AND GUNS (Passed): Limits instances when doctors can ask patients whether they own firearms. (SB 155)- Best nickname for a bill? Docs vs. Glocks

BESTIALITY (Passed): Bans abuse involving sexual contact with an animal. (SB 344/HB 125)- This was good for a few laughs on the web.

Finally…..

SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA (Passed): Outlaws synthetic marijuana. (SB 204/HB 39)- aka the Miley Cyrus bill. I guess this won’t be a vacation destination for her anymore.

Ms. Cyrus will have to keep her California habits, in California.

The St. Pete Times has a full run down on all of the bills. You can read about it here.

See you tomorrow and have a great Mother’s Day!

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