Highlights from the Legislature on Wednesday
February 20, 2008
– The House Judiciary Committee backed a proposal (House Bill 1219) requiring convicted sexually violent predators to wear GPS tracking devices. Mark Lunsford, the father of a Florida girl who was raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender in 2005, urged lawmakers to pass the bill. It’s not known yet how much the plan would cost. It will be reviewed by the appropriations committee next.- The House Finance Committee killed a proposal for a sales tax holiday in August for parents who buy school supplies. Opponents said the measure (House Bill 1271) was too expensive and open to abuse by people who would not qualify for the sales tax exemption.- The House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee backed a bill to clarify that people who lease extra water to the state to increase stream flows wouldn’t lose their water rights (House Bill 1280). Environmentalists and outfitters hope it will encourage more people to make such leases. It now goes to the full House for debate.- The House Agriculture Committee approved a plan (House Bill 1236) that would protect water supplies from radioactive pollution caused by the in-situ leach mining technique. Lawmakers said hundreds of new mining claims are expected as the price of uranium soars. The new process injects chemicals into aquifers to leach out radioactive uranium ore. It can release arsenic, selenium, uranium and other toxic chemicals, poisoning groundwater and the landscape. The bill now goes to the appropriations committee.