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22 posts from April 30, 2013

April 30, 2013

Senate passes cyber-bullying bill

A bill seeking to prohibit cyber-bullying in Florida's schools is headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

The proposal gives school administrators new authority to police bullying that takes place electronically or online.

On Monday, it won unanimous support in the Senate.

"As an educator and legislator, I'm pleased to see that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle came together to bring this bill to law," said Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, who sponsored the bill in the upper chamber. "In our digital age and society teachers and administrators need the ability to protect our Florida gems from the unwanted attacks students receive online."

The House passed the bill 118-0 in early April. 

Read our earlier story here.

Five Things To Know for Tuesday's Legislative Session

The Senate Tuesday will take up its plan to expand Medicaid, which differs vastly from the House approach. Here are five things to watch on the session's 57th day:
* Sen. Joe Negron's plan to extend health care to uninsured Floridians is seen as certain to pass the Senate, and Gov. Rick Scott likes it, but it's a non-starter in the House.
* As the clock winds down, Scott must keep seeking one of his two priorities, a sales tax break for manufacturing equipment. Scott prematurely said Monday he had an agreement with lawmakers to eliminate the tax for three years -- but Senate President Don Gaetz said it wasn't true. "The governor may be announcing an agreement to which all parties have not agreed," Gaetz told reporters Monday. 
* The Senate will debate the so-called parent trigger bill, which gives parents more authority to turn around failing schools, including converting them to charter schools. The bill (SB 862) is sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.
* The House on Tuesday is scheduled to take up bills relating to an overhaul of Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
* Tuesday is the 13th annual Ambassadors for Aging Day in Tallahassee, and all three Cabinet members and legislators are scheduled to speak at the event, which honors the contributions of senior citizens in the state.
-Steve Bousquet, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau