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Florida Legislators in Tallahassee for Special Session

Other issues could cloud the picture.

The gavel opened what is supposed to be a special session for just Medicaid reform and slot machines, but within minutes, lawmakers added property tax relief for hurricane victims, a bill to make it harder to sue employers who don't pay minimum wage.

A NASCAR license plate is funding a museum, more judges for southwest Florida and compensation for Wilton Dedge, the Brevard County man who spent 22 years in prison for a rape that DNA later proved he did not commit.

Gov. Jeb Bush says, “I was disappointed it couldn’t be done during the regular session, but Mr. Dedge is deserving of financial support from the state based on the fact that he was innocent.”

One of the most controversial issues has been lobbyist regulation being pushed by the Senate president, but the House speaker dropped a bombshell. He’s got a bill that prohibits lawmakers from taking any freebies.

Allan Bense, Florida House Speaker, says, “Members of the House will receive no gifts, period. No dinners, no trinkets, no nothing.”

The conventional wisdom for special sessions is that they don’t get called until you know how they’re going to turn out, but for this week’s special session, everything is still up in the air.

The legislative deadline is Friday. In the end lawmakers will have to compromise on almost everything or get nothing done at all.


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