TOLL CONTRACT UPDATE The fate of a potential $500 million contract for statewide toll services is in the hands of an administrative law judge after hearings concluded on July 11th. At issue is the decision by FDOT to award the contract to Xerox, which was initially ranked third by a procurement committee, before a second committee overruled the decision and ranked Xerox number one. The two companies ranked higher, Accenture and Cubic Transportation Systems, allege the State modified its requirements after the submittal of proposals, which would unfairly benefit Xerox. The judge’s decision will not be binding on FDOT and the ruling will most likely be appealed to the District Court of Appeal.
24 HOUR ABORTION WAITING PERIOD After Governor Scott signed into law a bill directing a 24 hour waiting period before an abortion, a Gainesville clinic and others filed suit seeking it to be declared unconstitutional. A Tallahassee circuit court judge, after two separate hearings, ordered the law be put on hold. The case will now be scheduled for a full trial.
CALL FOR INVESTIGATION Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Representative Matt Caldwell (R-North Fort Myers) have called for an investigation into Redflex Traffic Systems. Redflex is the provider of red light camera services for several municipalities throughout Florida and the nation. Redflex’s CEO admitted in a deposition that the company previously bribed officials in Ohio to secure contracts. The legislators have requested FDLE investigate all Florida contracts to determine if there were any illegal activities regarding these contracts.
AMENDMENT ONE LAWSUIT A coalition of four environmental organizations and individuals have filed suit against Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli concerning environmental appropriations in the 2015-2016 budget. The lawsuit alleges the Legislature misappropriated $300 million that should have been directed to land acquisition. The coalition is suggesting that much like what was done in the late 1980’s with Lottery funds, the Legislature is substituting Amendment One funding for general revenue funds and not allocating it for the purchase of additional land.
OUT OF STATE ATTORNEYS The Florida Bar Board of Governors discussed a preliminary report during their July 24th meeting concerning out-of-state attorneys practicing law without having passed the Florida exam. Florida is one of less than a dozen states which currently does not allow attorney reciprocity. Any change would have to be approved by the Florida Supreme Court.