Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Legislative Update

"No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session ..." -- Judge Gideon J. Tucker (1866)

Okay, I know I haven't been keeping up with this as much lately. Have they accomplished anything yet? Sadly, it doesn't look like I missed much.

Property Tax

Monday: Sun-Sentinel - Florida Senate, House head for tax showdown ... maybe

Having passed a very different plan last week, senators are due back in Tallahassee on Thursday at the earliest, if at all, with the Senate showing little appetite to consider major changes made by the House to a compromise worked out weeks ago.

"We do not know at this time whether you will need to return to Tallahassee," Senate President Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, said in a letter to state senators. It's an indication that if the House and Senate can't reach a quick compromise, they might give up all together on drawing up a new property tax plan.

The House won't reconvene until Thursday, leaving little time to turn the competing proposals into a consensus package that could gain support from the three-fourths majority in the Legislature needed to make it on the Jan. 29 ballot.

So, the Senate and House don't reconvene until Thursday. The last day of scheduled session is Monday, which is just one day before the deadline to get the proposal on the January 29 ballot.


Wednesday: Herald Tribune - Standoff on: Senate won't meet this week on property tax relief

With no agreement in sight, Senate President Ken Pruitt informed his members Wednesday they need not return to Tallahassee this week.

Rubio responded by canceling a House session set for Thursday. The House will reconvene next Monday to give the Senate as much time as possible to review the House plan, Rubio wrote in an e-mail to his members. The session is scheduled to end Monday but could be extended.

"This is a complex issue and it requires a careful approach," Rubio wrote.

For such a complex issue, how about this careful approach: get an independent organization to do a economic impact study, make the results available to the public, and reconvene in a special session just before regular session next year.