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Legislature 2004

Ticket scalping would be legal

Today is the eighth day of the 60-day session.

By Times Staff and Wire Reports
Published March 9, 2004

Scalpers would be able to sell event tickets for more than their face value under a bill that moved through a House committee Monday.

Since 1945, Florida law has prevented people from selling event tickets for more than $1 over face value. But a bill (HB 339), proposed by Rep. Anna Benson, R-Pensacola, would end that restriction.

The bill wouldn't allow people to stand outside sports arenas and hawk outrageously priced game tickets. It would only apply to sales by credit card, such as ones on the Internet, or other licensed money transmitters.

Only individuals - no businesses - could sell tickets without price restrictions, and they would be limited to selling no more than 10 tickets to any event, under the bill approved by the House Committee on Commerce.

Benson said she decided to sponsor the bill after being approached by online auction site eBay.

Sen. Evelyn J. Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, has filed a similar bill (SB 1108).

Burial plans could be recorded

People who make burial plans could record them at their county clerk's office under a bill (HB 983) that unanimously passed the House Committee on Commerce.

One of the sponsors, Rep. Charlie Justice, R-St. Petersburg, said families often don't know if loved ones have made plans, how to find them, or any specific details. By giving people this option, the bill would spare families from enduring lengthy searches to learn the wishes of the deceased, Justice said.

A Senate bill (SB 204) with the same intent has also passed through one committee.

Drug testing authority specified

A House panel approved legislation (HB 113) that would authorize school districts to require students in middle and high school to undergo drug testing as a condition of participation in extracurricular activities.

The choice would be left up to the state's 67 school boards under the bill by Rep. Ed Homan, R-Tampa.

Districts already have a range of drug-testing policies in place, including random testing of athletes and voluntary testing programs. The authority for such policies is considered implicit in laws outlining general scope of school board authority. The legislation approved by the Education K-20 Committee provides explicit authority for drug policies. The measure goes next to Appropriations Committee.

A companion Senate bill (SB 1838) awaits action in the Education Committee.

More boundaries on sex offenders

Sexual offenders released from prison on probation couldn't live within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop or 2 miles of a school under a bill (CS-HB 87) the House Education K-20 Committee approved Monday.

Current law bans sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, park, playground "or other place where children regularly congregate."

In the Senate, a companion measure (SB 120) has cleared one committee and awaits action in a second.

- For information about legislation, call 1-800-342-1827 or 1-850-488-4371 toll-free during business hours. The Legislature's official Web site:

[Last modified March 9, 2004, 01:35:32]

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