Florida Lawmakers Wrap Up Their Annual Session

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What was billed as the first harmonious legislative session in years broke down into bitter disputes in the final hours of the session on Friday.

Legislative leaders battled over pet projects. It was a troubling end for a two-month session that got off to a tough start this spring.

Lawmakers devoted almost the entire first half of the session to debate on whether or not to keep Terry Schiavo alive. Several major issues got tied up in a last minute scramble as a result.

One controversial issue was resolved: a bill requiring parents to be notified in a teenage daughter seeks an abortion.

Legislation also passed to allowing police to stop you if anyone in your car under the age of 18 is not wearing a seat belt.

And for the first time, low-income families will be allowed to participate in a summer breakfast program statewide, but Florida lawmakers left some major unfinished business on the table like any new tax breaks for major sports franchises like the Florida Marlins.

Also, lawmakers did not pass legislation to compensate wrongfully convicted prisoners, like Wilton Dedge, who spent 22 years behind bars for a rape he didn’t commit.

The only thing state lawmakers are required to do is complete action on a state budget, and this year’s will be a record $63 billion.