With a new $74 billion-plus state budget taking shape, the 2013 Legislature will pass the halfway point of its annual 60-day session this Wednesday.
The budget bill is the only legislation lawmakers must pass before the session’s scheduled end on May 3.
But with more than 1,700 bills and resolutions pending, Floridians still have a lot at stake in the outcome of the legislative gathering.
By the time lawmakers head home, Floridians could see many changes in their everyday lives, among them: a ban on texting while driving; lower vehicle registration fees; taxes on Internet purchases; and even changes in pension plans for public workers.
On Friday, House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, likened the nine-week session — which heads into its fifth week on Monday — to a baseball game.
“It’s a nine-inning session,” Weatherford said. “This is the fourth inning. There is a lot of session to go.”
Here are some key issues that could have an impact on Florida consumers:
In one of the more intriguing developments of the session, lawmakers could make Internet sales taxable. Non-Florida firms can now avoid imposing the tax on sales to Floridians, while Florida-based companies, including those using the Web, must charge a sales tax.
The problem has been trying to find a way to make the Internet tax bill “revenue-neutral.”