Florida Matters Preview: 2014 Legislative Session

May 13, 2014

State lawmakers ended this year's 60-day legislative session by passing a record $77.1 billion budget, along with laws that deal with everything from immigrant tuition to medical marijuana.

We take a look at what lawmakers did and did not do on Florida Matters tonight at 6:30 p.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM. 

Our panel includes state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, state Rep. Mark Danish, D-Tampa, and senior political reporter William March of The Tampa Tribune.

Guns are among the many topics the panel discussed. The so-called "warning shot" bill allows someone who feels threatened to fire a warning shot to scare away a would-be attacker and not risk going to prison. It would also wipe the record clean of anyone tried and acquitted of a "stand-your-ground" offense. Danish said lawmakers could have done more regarding "stand-your-ground."

"That was our one, so to speak, shot at it that we were going to get, so we took advantage of that one for the most part, but a lot of people feel it didn't go far enough," Danish said. 

A bill that would have allowed legal gun owners to carry concealed weapons even if they did not have a permit was pulled by its sponsor after Latvala added an amendment that would have put limits on how long a person could carry the firearm. 

"When it was filed, it only applied to an evacuation in a hurricane situation.," Latvala said. "It got changed in the process to also apply to a civil emergency, which is basically a riot."

Lawmakers also passed the so-called "Pop Tart" bill, which addresses school's zero-tolerance policies when it comes to punishing kids who simulate weapons.