No Skullduggery in Senate Eyewitness ID Measure

By DARA KAM, Palm Beach Post The Senate approved a measure setting minimum standards for eyewitness identification procedures by a 34-5 vote over the objections of former sheriff Steve Oelrich.Sen. Oelrich repeatedly said that the problem with erroneous eyewitness accounts that lead to wrongful convictions is the fault of the witness, not law enforcement, and that prosecutors and cops should be allowed to come up with their own model program.But bill sponsor Joe Negron finally put his foot down.“I’ve bent over backwards to accommodate the interest of law enforcement but I’m not prepared to sit here and wait to get this problem fixed,” Negron said. Read more: … [Read more...]

House Passes Mandatory Ultrasound, Other Pro-Life Bills

By KEVIN DERBY, Sunshine State News Engaging in often emotion debates over the proposals, the Florida House Wednesday passed a package of pro-life legislation, including a measure requiring women seeking abortions to have and pay for an ultrasound. Republicans and Democrats engaged in limited debate over the bills based on a previous agreement.  At the start of the debate, House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami marshaled Republicans, while Rep. Jim Waldman of Coconut Creek served in his now-familiar role as floor manager for the Democrats. The first bill tackled was HB 501 which was sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala. Baxley’s bill would move fees garnered from the sale of the ChooseLife license plates to be redistributed from counties to the Choose Life Foundation, which runs pregnancy centers encouraging pregnant women to put their unborn children up for … [Read more...]

E-Verify Bill Dying a Slow Death in Senate

By KENRIC WARD, Sunshine State News Senate Bill 2040 must clear the Senate Budget Committee by day's end, according to the latest timetable. Still bottled up by Chairman J.D. Alexander, the heavily amended measure would require employers to use the federal E-Verify database or Real ID-compliant driver's license identification to screen new hires. The driver's license alternative was added by Judiciary Chairwoman Anitere Flores, but the addition has not garnered support. Democrats -- ever-attuned to the special pleading of migrant-rights groups, legal or illegal -- adamantly oppose any tightening of the rules. Majority Republicans, who can pass legislation without any Democratic votes, have splintered amid pecuniary resistance from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Associated Industries of Florida, the agriculture industry -- and now, an onslaught of visiting … [Read more...]

Gun Bills Clear Florida Senate, Await Governor’s Signature

By PAUL FLEMMING, Tallahassee Democrat TALLAHASSEE –– Three gun bills passed the Senate this morning with the next stop Gov. Rick Scott's desk. He's likely to sign them. The National Rifle Association-backed legislation would: • Fine local elected officials $5,000 if they knowingly and willfully violate state law that reserves gun regulation to the Legislature. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, passed 26-11. • Eliminate misdemeanor charges for concealed-weapon permit holders whose weapons are inadvertently revealed. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, passed 30-8. • Restrict doctors from asking patients about the guns that they own unless it's medically necessary. The bill, also sponsored by Evers, passed 27-10. The votes generally fell along party lines. Though the three bills represented the entirety of the powerful NRA's … [Read more...]

Alfert to help conduct study on Airports


Robert Alfert, Jr., a partner at the Florida-based law firm Broad and Cassel, has been selected to conduct a study on “Procurement Standards for Airport Contracting” as part of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies’ Airport Cooperative Research Program. Mr. Alfert will prepare the study in conjunction with Roy Block, president of R.W. Block Consulting, Inc., and Karen Ryan, an associate at Broad and Cassel. Most airports, as public agencies, are subject to multiple requirements for carrying out procurements and awarding contracts for airport development and planning. Typically, when awarding contracts for planning and construction projects, some form of competition procurement is required. There is a wide array of statutes and regulations that will apply to any particular project, depending upon the source of funds for the contract, the type of … [Read more...]