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'Columbia' added to auto tags

Gov. Jeb Bush signs the license plate bill, as well as one banning diet pill sales to minors.

By Associated Press
Published May 22, 2003

TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Jeb Bush signed 15 bills into law Wednesday, including one that adds Columbia to a specialty license plate honoring the space shuttle Challenger and another that outlaws the sale of diet pills to minors.

The Challenger tag was created in 1986 to memorialize the astronauts killed when the space shuttle blew up in January of that year. The new tag, which costs $25 a year, adds Columbia's name to honor the seven astronauts who died when that shuttle broke up Feb. 1 over Texas. The measure (HB 1155) was sponsored by Rep. Ralph Poppell, R-Titusville.

The governor noted that the Challenger plate has generated $37.9-million since its inception for programs encouraging young people to study math, science and technology through an understanding of space exploration.

The governor also signed measures to:

Ban the sale of over-the-counter weight loss products to minors (HB 953). Lawmakers have said the law is needed because many diet pills contain the stimulant ephedra, which has been linked to deaths. Broaden the state's stalking law to specifically outlaw harassment by computer (HB 479). It creates the crime of cyber stalking, or threatening or harassing someone over the Internet, by an instant messaging system or e-mail.

Create stiffer penalties for people who steal anhydrous ammonia, a common fertilizer, and use it to make illicit methamphetamine (SB 1080). Allow parents to learn the titles of overdue books checked out of libraries by their children younger than 16 (CS/SB 192). Confidentiality laws currently prevent libraries from disclosing such information.

[Last modified May 22, 2003, 01:30:54]

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