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  • The Legislature in brief

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
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  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
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  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
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    The Legislature in brief

    Today is the 23rd day of the 60-day session.

    By DIANE RADO

    © St. Petersburg Times, published March 28, 2001


    Renters' refunds could take longer

    Renters, pay attention. It may take longer to get your security deposit back under a bill moving through the Legislature.

    The Florida Senate gave preliminary approval Tuesday to legislation that would give landlords 30 days, instead of the current 15, to return a security deposit or notify tenants there will be a claim against the deposit because of damage to rental property.

    Landlords and property management companies have complained that 15 days isn't enough time to make accurate inspections and get estimates for repairs.

    The issue sparked spirited debate, as Democrats tried to restore the 15-day deadline. "Right now, 15 days is a long time period," said Sen. Steve Geller, D-Hallandale Beach. "You have to understand the real world impact . . . frequently they (tenants) need their security deposits to be able to afford a deposit on another rental."

    But Republicans, who have a 25-15 Senate majority, kept the 30-day provision in place.

    The legislation comes up for final approval as early as Thursday. Similar legislation is moving forward in the House.

    -- For information about legislation, call this number toll-free during business hours: 1-800-342-1827. For Internet users, Online Sunshine is the official site for the Legislature.

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    From the Times state desk