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House passes workers' comp bill; fate uncertain in Senate

The Florida House passed, as expected and along mostly party lines, a bill to restore limits on attorney fees for injured workers who are wrongly denied claims.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and other businesses' lobbies pressed for the bill after the Florida Supreme Court reversed the 2003 state law limiting fees. The vote was 84-35, with Tampa Republican Ed Homan joining Democrats in opposition. Homan, a physician, said rates have come down and to act now "is irresponsible."

But House insiders said there was more in play, that Homan is still upset that bill sponsor, Rep. Anitere Flores of Miami, helped squash a 2007 move to include a cervical cancer vaccine in required school immunizations. Previous coverage here.

The bill's fate is less certain in the Senate, which is generally more receptive to trial lawyers.