Delay Tactic Slows Final Days of Florida Legislative Session

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By: Andy Alcock

Tallahassee, FL - The clock is ticking for Florida's governor and state lawmakers.

With this year's session ready to end Friday, there are key issues unresolved and the lawmaking process has been intentionally slowed to a snail's pace.

An automated reader was used to go through a bill on storing paper and electronic files word for word as members of the Florida House paid little attention.

However, using that gadget wasn't about that bill.

Instead, it's a delay tactic by House Democrats to protest the lack of a deal on medicaid expansion.

It's an expansion the state's Republican governor also supports.

When asked if he supports the Democrats delay tactic, Governor Rick Scott said, "I'm governor, I'm not involved in the legislature."

While Scott didn't offer an opinion on the Democrats tactic, the clock is ticking for him as well.

He has until midnight Thursday morning to decide if he'll sign a sweeping ethics reform proposal, veto it or not sign it and let it become law.

"I'm still reviewing that bill," said Governor Scott.

"Governor Scott signed an executive order on his first day in office commiting to ethics reform, he's made a big promise on that issue," said Integrity Florida Director Dan Krassner.

"I have no reason to think he's not going to sign the bill, it's a good bill, he ought to sign it," said bill sponsor Senator Jack Latvala.

While there was unanimous bi-partisan support for ethics reform, State Representative Alan Williams says it doesn't go far enough.

His amendment to require politicians to pay outstanding fines before running for re-election was defeated.

"We have to make sure we hold them accountable. If we don't we're doing a disservice," said Williams.

The governor also has until midnight Thursday morning to decide on what to do with a proposal limiting alimony and a campaign finance reform bill expanding maximum contributions to candidates.

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