Last week's conclusion of the Florida Legislature's 2000 term brought an end to updates of three recent articles.
Topping the list is Ken Wright, a development attorney and the target of environmentalists' ire `Wright or wrong, March 16`. Wright's appointment to fill a lay seat on the Environmental Regulations Commission irked those who said he could never be impartial, and who saw it as an attempt by Gov. Bush to reward his Central Florida campaign organizer, who in turn could dole out favors to his developer buddies. On the last day of the session, the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments and Confirmations Committee voted 4-1 in Wright's favor. His nomination was later confirmed by a full Senate vote.
Elsewhere, after being passed by the House, the Florida Land Title Protection Act died when Senate leaders refused to hear it. The act would have moved the property line on navigable waterways, effectively giving control of roughly 5,000 acres of waterfront property to private interests such as the timber industry `A shore point for the public, April 5`.
On the birth-control front, legislators bowed to the insurance lobby `The politics of the pill, March 16`; a proposal that would have required insurance companies to cover the cost of contraceptives died in committee. The reason: "A combination of business interests and the more conservative social agenda of the House majority who find anything objectionable that deals with contraceptives," says House sponsor Steven Effman.
And in news from Washington, D.C., Florida Sen. Bob Graham's much-maligned farmworker legislation appears stalled in committee `A plan far afield, March 2`. Farmworker advocates claim conditional amnesty offered to illegal workers under the measure is actually a disguise that would put those workers at greater risk of abuse by the ag industry. In a hearing last week, Graham and co-sponsor Sen. Gordon Smith admitted their bill was less than perfect. It could still emerge, but a presidential veto is promised.