Florida Session Wrap

This year's legislative session brought a roller coaster of emotions to Florida, from a feeding tube debacle to a cancer battle.

Some say it was smooth, others say it was bleak. Whatever your description, the 2005 legislative session was definitely memorable.

For starters, there was the Terri Schiavo controversy; the Pinellas County woman's case sparked questions about Florida's death with dignity laws.

Just days before Schiavo passed away there was bad news hit close to home for statesmen. Freshman David Coley lost a short battle with liver cancer. A memorial was held in the House where his body lay in state.

Also in March there was horrible news of a nine-year-old girl’s abduction and murder. Jessica Lunsford became the victim of a sexual predator.

Weeks later, Sarah Lunde was plastered on TV screens, the 13-year-old also killed by a sexual predator. Legislators quickly acted, passing the Jessica Lunsford Act. It cracks down on sexual offenders and requires electronic monitoring upon release.

Finally by the end of session, good news prevailed. State workers were given a bigger than usual raise, 3.6 percent to be distributed this August.

And before the midnight bell rang on the final day, a $63.1 billion budget was okayed.

Other laws addressing Medicaid for the poor, growth management and the homeowners’ insurance market passed this session.