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Senate passes watered-down courts amendment

by Dara Kam | May 2nd, 2011

The House and Senate reached a compromise on one of House Speaker Dean Cannon’s priorities that would have split the Supreme Court.

Instead, the proposed constitutional amendment (HJR 7111) would give lawmakers more control over court rules, require Senate confirmation of gubernatorial appoints to the high court and allow the Florida House to scrutinize judicial complaints.

What the bill doesn’t do – split the court in two and set a fixed amount of funding – permitted its passage by a 28-11 vote Tuesday evening.

Cannon’s accepted the deal, his spokeswoman said.

“The Speaker will consider the proposed Court Reform Amendment a win with or without the Supreme Court component. It does not appear that the Senate will go as far as the House in terms of bold reform, but Speaker Cannon believes in all of the policy and is proud of the debate that was initiated,” Cannon, R-Winter Park, spokeswoman Katie Betta said in an e-mail.

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