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Alimony bill's high-energy supporters, opponents clash


Emotions ran high at the state Capitol Tuesday as supporters and opponents of a proposed alimony law clashed outside Gov. Rick Scott’s office.

Scott has one more week to decide the fate of SB 668, which has stirred more public reaction on both sides than any other bill from the 2016 legislative session.

Supporters rallied first on the steps of the Historic Old Capitol and called on Scott to sign the bill into law. 

“The people have spoken,” said Tarie MacMillan, a divorcee from Wimauma, in Hillsborough County. “Children deserve both parents.”

One of the bill’s most controversial provisions is a presumption at the start of a divorce proceeding that assumes both parents should equally share custody.

As supporters rallied outside, opponents marched to Scott’s office, hoping to deliver dozens of letters and petitions. After nearly an hour, two staffers emerged from Scott's office to discuss the legislation with opponents.

“This bill is bad for kids, it’s bad for women and it’s bad for Florida,” said Robert Doyel, a former circuit judge in Polk County, who handled many divorce cases.