tampabay.com

The session so far

By Times Staff Writer
Published April 9, 2007


Property taxes

The House has written and rewritten a plan to eliminate property taxes on primary homes and raise the sales tax instead. But the idea is so bold, leaders have yet to test it with a vote by the whole chamber. The Senate will offer its proposal on Thursday.

Property insurance

A so-called glitch bill, which would resolve technical flaws in the insurance overhaul passed in January, has become a hot potato. Insurance industry lobbyists, and their advocates, want changes that would ease consumer protections. Also, a bill that would strengthen the ability of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to compete against private companies has been stalled. But the governor recently urged lawmakers to consider it.

Personal injury protection

The Senate is considering a bill that would give another year of life to the requirement that drivers purchase personal injury policies that offer some coverage no matter who is at fault in a crash. The House appears inclined to let the no-fault law disappear when it is scheduled to sunset in October.

The budget

The governor proposed a $71-billion spending plan, but a cooling housing market has shrunk the tax revenue the state has to work with. Meanwhile, the heads of the state's agencies want more money. This will be a tough budget to balance.

Teacher bonuses

Legislation replacing the state's merit pay program was signed into law by the governor March 29. The new program allows for bonuses ranging from 5 percent to 10 percent of the districtwide pay average.

The Anti-Murder Act

The outcome was never in doubt. On March 13 the governor signed into law a measure providing that violent felons who violate probation be jailed until a judge decides if they should return to prison.