Florida celebrated its 170th year of statehood on March 3, 2015. The Legislature began its sixty day session on the same day. Now that we have reached the midpoint of the 2015 Session, we wanted to update you on some of the key items of interest impacting Floridians. There is a saying that ‘nothing is safe while the Legislature is in session’. That may well be true with all of the interesting issues swirling about this year.
Of utmost importance is the passage of the budget. The Senate and House have proposed different spending plans for the upcoming fiscal year with uncertainty of future federal funding for the Low Income Pool and healthcare expansion as the central focus. Both chambers will pass their appropriations bills this week and set the stage for negotiating their differences.
The Legislature took off Good Friday and the start of Passover (both April 3rd) this year for its break. There remains much work to be done and we will continue to follow legislation as bills make their way through both chambers.
To date, eleven bills have been sent to Governor Rick Scott and he has signed four of them. Of interest is HB 7035 which moves the presidential primary to the third Tuesday in March of a presidential election year. This change is in response to Republican National Committee rules which would have reduced Florida’s 99 delegates to 9 should the date not be moved past March 14th. Florida may now award all votes to the primary winner rather than distribute them proportionally.