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Politics / Issues

Speed Limits, Gun Bills Remain in Play

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After taking this week off and holding committee meetings Monday and Tuesday, the Florida Senate will face a flurry of bills when it returns to the floor April 23.

The Senate is expected to pass a proposal (HB 7035) that would revamp laws dealing with juvenile sentencing in cases that involve murders or other series felonies. Also, it will begin debating a proposal (SB 392) that could allow speed limits to go as high as 75 mph on some highways.

Senators also are expected to take up two proposals backed by gun-rights advocates.

One of the measures (SB 1060) would prevent schoolchildren from being disciplined for simulating guns while playing or for wearing clothes that depict firearms or express opinions about Second Amendment rights.

Another bill (SB 544) would allow county tax collectors to accept applications for concealed-weapon licenses. Senators also are slated to work on some health-care measures, including a proposal (SB 1150) aimed at boosting "medical tourism."

The House is scheduled to return to the floor Monday, but its calendar does not yet list the bills that will be considered.

Both chambers are off this week for the Passover and Easter holidays.

Also, "Fresh From Florida"-labeled red grapefruit will be on the spring and summer menu at South Korean locations of Tampa-based, Australian-themed Outback Steakhouse.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on Tuesday announced the unique partnership, which will have franchised Outback locations throughout the southern part of the Korean Peninsula featuring a Florida-grown red grapefruit cocktail.

"We are proud to announce this great partnership with an iconic American restaurant in a growing market," Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said in a release.

A spokeswoman for the state agency said there has been "a large jump in the number of grapefruits sold to (the South Korean) market this year," but financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.