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Democrats meet with governor, tell him they're prepared to stall session

At an early morning meeting at the governor's mansion, the top Democratic leaders of the Florida House urged the governor to consider vetoing the entire budget as a statement of his opposition to the legislature's expected failure to pass plan to expand health insurance for the poor. They also urged him to call a special session to enact the law. 

Reps. Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale, and Mia Jones of Jacksonville told the governor at their 6:30 a.m. meeting that with four days left in the session, they are prepared to used procedural moves to demonstrate their protest as well, said Mark Hollis, the Democrat's spokesman. "They feel an absence of an adequate plan to expand health care coverage is unacceptable,'' he said. 

The House is awaiting action by the Senate today as it takes up its plan to accept federal funds under the so-called Negron plan. "We want passage of the Senate bill,'' Hollis said.

If the House fails to adopt that bill, House Democrats are prepared to use their parlimentary tools to call attention to the issue. Among the options they have used in the past is a requirement to read bills in full. 

Democrats also know that the governor's priority, the expansion of the tax break for manufacturers, has not passed the House or Senate and it requires a two-thirds vote to happen. In the House, that means that Republicans need five of the 44 Democrats for the bill to pass.