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Scott Quickly Gets Marriage, Death-Penalty Bills

Associated Press

Legislative leaders sent more than two-dozen bills to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday, including quickly sending a bill that would revamp death-penalty sentencing and a controversial bill known as the "Pastor Protection Act."

The Senate gave final approval Thursday to the death-penalty bill (HB 7101), which stems from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in January that found the current death-penalty sentencing system is unconstitutional.

Also Thursday, the Senate gave final approval to the "Pastor Protection" measure (HB 43), which is aimed at protecting clergy members who object to performing wedding ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples.

Scott will have seven days to sign, veto or allow the bills to become law without his signature.

Among other bills sent to Scott on Thursday was a measure (SB 310) that would replace the statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith at the National Statuary Hall in Washington. Each state is allowed two statues in the hall, with Florida represented by Smith and John Gorrie, widely viewed as the father of air conditioning. Under the bill, a committee would recommend three prominent Floridians as potential replacements for Smith, and the Legislature would pick one whose statue would be placed in the hall.

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