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Tallahassee Roundup: Week 8

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BRADENTON – As the session heads into its final week, the controversial parent trigger bill moved closer toward becoming law, while the Senate and House failed to find common ground on Medicare reform, which they now acknowledge may not come in this session. The Senate passed major revisions to Citizens insurance and a far-reaching permitting bill passed the House, despite fierce opposition from environmentalist groups. Meanwhile, Governor Scott hinted that some pet projects may be headed toward the veto pile.

On Thursday, House Republicans rejected a bipartisan Senate proposal to accept $51 billion in federal health care money. It is now looking more unlikely that the bodies will reach of compromise before the end of the session. The New York Times reports that rejecting the federal plan could have unintended consequences including exposing businesses to IRS penalties and leaving low-income Americans unable to afford health care coverage even as legal immigrants receive  financial aid for their premiums.

After passing the House earlier this month, the parent trigger bill passed its final Senate committee and is headed to the chamber floor. Meanwhile, former Governor Jeb Bush, who has been an outspoken proponent of for-profit charter schools, was in controversy this week, when it was suggested that his foundation is creating fabricated “parent groups” to feign support for the measure.

The Florida Senate narrowly approved major changes to the state’s property insurer of last resort, citizens, gambling that raising the rates will lure more private insurers into the market and force down prices by increasing competition, rather than pushing them upward by removing the competitive pricing of Citizens. Other interests worry that the move could stunt Florida’s tepid real estate recovery.



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