2013 Legislative Session

New Florida Golf Cart Law in Effect

Jul 1, 2013
morguefile.com

Over 150 new laws went into effect in Florida today. One of them was the option to covert faster golf carts - or similar low-speed vehicles - to even lower-speed carts, saving golf cart owners registration and insurance fees.

A regular golf cart only goes up to 20 mph. Low-speed vehicles can zoom by at more than 20 mph but not more than 25 mph. Unlike golf carts, low-speed vehicles have to be registered and insured.

The new law permits low-speed vehicles to be converted into regular golf cart status for a one time fee of $40 dollars.

Among the handful of veterans’ bills considered by Florida lawmakers this year was legislation that would have granted in-state tuition rates to all veterans using the Post 9-11 GI Bill.

The lower, in-state tuition waiver was a top priority for Florida student veterans.

State Rep. Kathleen Peters of South Pasadena sponsored the House bill.

“The senate wouldn’t hear it,” Peters said. “I’m extremely disappointed about it. The veterans’ organizations are upset about it. The veterans’ school organizations are upset about it.”

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

State lawmakers wrapped up the session less than two weeks ago and many have taken to the public circuit explaining their votes.

Eight members of the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation convened Tuesday to face questions from the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club.

With a few exceptions, the state senators and representatives from both the Republican and Democrat sides of the aisle praised the bipartisanship mood of the 2013 session.

Twitter.Com

By late Tuesday morning, Florida's AutoReader (nicknamed Mary) bragged in a tweet: ... I have now read 1.2 million words.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday, Mary sent out a final tweet: The has been brought to you by your friends at the . See you next year?

Lawmakers And Gov. Scott Compromise On Teacher Raises

Apr 29, 2013
The Florida Senate

Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott reached a compromise on $480 million in raises for teachers and other school workers.

The raises are part of a $74 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Districts will have flexibility in how the money is awarded based on local collective bargaining agreements.

321fun.blogspot.com

Right now, schools determine whether to move a student into special education classes.

But a proposed bill in Tallahassee would give parents of children with special needs more power over their education.

Fort Lauderdale sixth-grader Mariah Harris has Down syndrome, and she wants to be a veterinary technician.

“My dream is to go to college with my friends one day,” she told a panel of lawmakers.

Sagette Van Embden / Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Shakira Lockett always got pretty good grades in school. That’s why she was surprised to find out she had failed her college placement exam at Miami Dade College.

Lockett spent a year a half taking remedial classes in reading, writing and math before she could start earning credits toward a degree. She finished her studies — but Lockett’s a rare case for students who end up in remedial courses.

National statistics show just 1 in 10 community college students forced to take a remedial course finish their studies within three years.

amagill / Flickr

Florida House and Senate leaders have set aside less money for education in their initial budget outlines than did Gov. Rick Scott.

Both House and Senate leaders have expressed doubts about Scott's $480 million plan to give teachers a $2,500 across-the-board raise. Scott's budget would have spent $14.3 billion on education.

votedanraulerson.com

There once was a rep from Plant City

Whom poetry made quite giddy.

So he filed a bill

On Florida’s Capitol Hill

To keep a poet laureate sitting pretty.

*

To watch Dan Raulerson state his case in rhymes,

Check out this video from the Tampa Bay Times:

Flsenate.gov

Florida lawmakers have been holding committee meetings for the past three months. So, when the legislative session officially opens Tuesday, leaders will be ready to start moving bills through.

Pinellas County Sen. Jack Latvala, chairman of the ethics and elections committee, said to expect election reform this session, but the first bill he plans to take up is on ethics.

MyFlorida.com

The Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting has revived the debate in many state legislatures over new gun laws as well as school security and mental health care.

After holding roundtable discussions with gun owners, teachers and law enforcement officers, State Rep. Linda Stewart of Orlando came to a conclusion about Florida’s elementary schools.