Florida Legislature Wraps Up Session Without Helping Fire Districts
Lawmakers ended their 60-day session today, waiting until the final hour to pass a $74.5 million budget and then leaving town without passing Without passing H0885 / S1196 Independent Special Fire Control Districts; Clarifies provisions that authorize independent special fire control district to levy non-ad valorem assessments to construct, operate, & maintain specified district facilities & services; provides that if district levies non-ad valorem assessments for certain services, district must cease to levy ad valorem assessments for those services; revises provisions relating to district authority to provide for levy of non-ad valorem assessments on lands within district rather than benefited real property; eliminates provisions relating to rate of assessment for benefited real property. Bills were sponsored by Rep Caldwell and Senator Richter.
The Legislature did send Gov. Rick Scott an elections bill that attempts to fix problems with long lines and vote-counting delays that made Florida a joke across the nation last November. Among other things, the bill allows elections supervisors to hold up to 14 days of early voting instead of the eight days now in law, a reversal for the GOP-led legislature from two years ago. It also allows more early voting sites.