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Special session on the day new leadership takes over legislature

by Dara Kam | November 4th, 2010

Now that they’ve got a veto-proof majority in both the state House and Senate, GOP legislative leaders will override nine bills axed by Gov. Charlie Crist earlier this year as their first course of business later this month.

Senate President-designate Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon are holding the special session on the day they officially take over their chambers during the typically ceremonial organizational session beginning Nov. 16.

“We chose issues that had one or two negative votes, most, in the Senate, most of them unanimous,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, told reporters this morning. “Once we take these off the table, we can focus on jobs, jobs, jobs, because that’s what people care about.”

Lawmakers steered clear of two controversial measures – a bill that would have required pregnant women to view a sonogram before having an abortion and a measure (SB 6) that would have done away with teacher tenure.

Instead, most of the nine bills they selected received unanimous or near-unanimous approval.

The measures the legislature is expected to override include a bill that will let farmers keep their agricultural property tax exemption on properties they are selling and a $9.7 million appropriation for Shands Teaching Hospital. Without the money, Shands officials sa they will have to restrict care to Medicaid and charity patients.

Other bills include one that would require coastal residents to reveal their properties’ windstorm mitigation rating to potential homebuyers. Lawmakers say that will discourage home sales.

They’ll also revive a measure limiting state agencies’ rulemaking ability. Crist vetoed that because he said it encroached on the separation of powers.

The last time the legislature override a governor’s veto was in 13 years ago. In 1997, lawmakers overrode the late Gov. Lawton Chiles veto of a partial-birth abortion ban and a bill expanding the use of hearsay as evidence in civil trials.

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