'Romeos' can avoid sex offender status

Published May 3, 2007


Teens involved in consensual sexual relationships, dubbed "Romeo and Juliet" cases, would be protected from new federal requirements that juvenile sex offenders register on national and state databases, under a bill that passed both chambers. Under the legislation (SB 1604/HB 665), an accused offender could petition to remain off the registry as long as he or she is no more than four years older than the sexual partner. The partner would have to be at least 14 years old, and the court would have to determine the relationship was consensual.


Brand-name drug provision not discussed

A health care bill (SB 1166) has a provision sought by pharmaceutical firms requiring organ transplant patients in the Medicaid program to use brand-name drugs, unless a doctor authorizes the generic alternative in writing. Rep. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, confirmed he was lobbied to insert the provision by, among others, Travis Blanton, a lobbyist for Astellas Pharma US. "We invest so much when we do an organ transplant, and we want it to 'take, ' " Bean said. He confirmed the provision was never discussed publicly. More than a dozen lobbyists for generic drug companies have launched an effort to have the provision removed.

Martin Lee Anderson bill passes Senate

A $5-million claims bill for the family of Martin Lee Anderson, who died after being roughed up by guards at a state-supervised boot camp, passed the Senate on Wednesday and was sent to the governor. Anderson died in January 2006 shortly after being kneed and struck at the military-style facility run by the Bay County Sheriff's Office in Panama City.