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In the House, a train wreck averted

A sign of things to come? Chaos briefly reigned in the House Thursday when a minor revolt by Republicans prevented a vote on a major budget bill -- the one with $686-million in driver-related fees to help plug next year's budget hole. When the time came for a vote, a couple of Republicans were missing and it was clear the majority didn't have the votes.

The committee declared a recess at 9:25 a.m., reconvened at 10:20, and quickly passed the bill on an 8-to-5 party-line vote. 

"We're struggling to figure out how to balance our budget," said Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, the panel's chairman and bill sponsor. The controversy was mainly over a House strategy to divert all those additional driver fees into general tax revenue for schools and other programs, rather than set them aside for transportation-related costs.