BASICALLY, WILL WEATHERFORD JUST BROKE UP WITH DAVID BECKHAM: “House Speaker Will Weatherford said Thursday he didn't support a plan that could allow Orlando's professional soccer backers secure state tax dollars for a future stadium as soon as this summer. Both the House and Senate are nearing floor votes on plans to require stadium tax-subsidies to go through a new competition process for annual sales tax rebates where they apply to the state's jobs agency and are evaluated based on their economic impact. But Central Florida senators, including Sens. David Simmons and Andy Gardiner, along with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and other Major League Soccer backers are pushing a change to the bill to let projects like the future Orlando City Soccer Club MLS team compete for state dollars without requiring the Legislature to later sign off on the tax breaks. The time difference is critical for Orlando’s $85 million Major League Soccer stadium which is slated to be under construction by 2015. If the project can secure the $2 million annual sales-tax rebate sooner, it can proceed with a larger, $110 million soccer palace with more amenities. But Weatherford told reporters Thursday he didn't favor the idea. ‘I think the Florida House ... is more favorable toward having a fair process where everybody has to go to the Department of Economic Opportunity before they can come back to the Legislature,’ Weatherford said.” (via Orlando Sentinel)
WE USED TO BE FRIENDS:
SPEAKING OF BREAKING UP, HERE COMES ANOTHER GAY MARRIAGE IN FLORIDA LAWSUIT, THIS TIME OVER A DIVORCE: “When Mariama Shaw entered a Hillsborough County courtroom Thursday, she was hoping Judge Laurel M. Lee would grant her a divorce from Keiba Lynn Shaw. The two women married in Massachusetts in 2010 before moving to Tampa. The problem: ‘How would this court have the authority to dissolve a marriage that the laws of our state do not recognize?’ Judge Lee asked. In order to get a divorce in Massachusetts, the couple has been told they must return to that state and live there for a year. But the attorneys for the two women contend one reason their request should be granted in Florida is because the state's ban on same-sex marriage doesn't specifically prohibit divorce. ‘They come to Florida and they're stuck. They are married permanently until they move away, unless the court decides to interpret the law as we have suggested,’ Ellen Ware, an attorney for Mariama Shaw, said after Thursday's court hearing.” (via WTSP)
IN OTHER WORDS, YOUR FETUS IS MORE “VIABLE” THAN YOUR DOCTOR OR YOUR OWN CHOICE. YOUR LEGISLATURE HATES YOU: “A bill up that would prohibit the abortion of a fetus able to survive outside the womb unless the pregnancy threatens the mother’s health passed the House Health and Human Serivces Committee with a vote of 12-5. HB 1047 also would doctors to closely document the tests and observations used to decide if a late-term abortion is appropriate, and it offers stiff penalties against doctors who fail to do so. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach,also would change the state’s prohibition on abortions after the third trimester to the variable of whether the fetus was viable. It cites the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which rejected third trimester framework addressed in Roe v. Wade. It also cited a Florida Supreme Court Case that found an abortion can be regulated by the state once fetal viability was achieved. Most who testified during the meeting waived in opposition against the bill. Democrats also in opposition voiced concern. ‘This is an issue between a woman and her doctor and not for us to be involved,’ said Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood.” (via The Florida Current)
YOU CAN’T SHOUT “FIRE” IN A THEATER BUT YOU BUT YOU MAY SOON BE ABLE TO FIRE A GUN DURING AN EVACUATION EMERGENCY: “A new proposal could suspend concealed carry gun laws during mandatory evacuations in Florida, but law enforcement is concerned about opening the door for non-permitted citizens to carry around a gun. Millions of gun owners could be forced to leave their guns at home in emergency evacuation situations if they don’t have a concealed carry permit. Representative Heather Fitzenhagen’s bill makes it easier for owners to take their guns with them if they’re forced to leave home. ‘It merely allows you, if you’re in an emergency, to not have to comply with the necessity for the proper carriage of your weapon,’ said Fitzenhagen. That’s a problem for the Florida Sheriff’s Association. They worry that a state of emergency might be the worst time for a suspension of gun restrictions. ‘Do the members of this committee want to extend a huge number of people the privilege of a concealed and loaded weapon at exactly the time they are least likely to use it in a responsible manner?’ said FSA lobbyist Electra Theodorides-Bustle.” (via Capitol News Service)
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