Florida Gov. Rick Scott gets bills on tax holidays, immigrant law license

May 9, 2014 

The annual parade of legislation to the governor's desk began Thursday.

The Legislature sent Gov. Rick Scott a stack of 58 bills, including a package of sales tax holidays for back-to-school items, energy efficient appliances and hurricane supplies (HB 5601) and a bill to allow Jose Godinez-Samperio of Largo, an immigrant from Mexico and "Dreamer" who is not a U.S.citizen, to get a license to practice law in the state from the Florida Supreme Court (HB 755).

Scott also received SB 386, which prohibits Florida courts from applying foreign laws, mainly in divorce and custody cases. He has SB 1642, which simplifies calculations for the A-F grades in the K-12 public schools, and SB 236, which changes the names of two state colleges. Pasco-Hernando Community College will become Pasco-Hernando State College, and Edison State College in Fort Myers will become Florida SouthWestern State College.

Scott also received a watered-down bill that gives parents a mechanism to complain about the textbooks in their local school districts. The original bill by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, would have required all 67 school districts to review textbooks for students' use.

Another bill going to the governor would allow elected constitutional officers in Hillsborough County to opt out of some civil service protections for county employees. Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, tried unsuccessfully to block that bill from being considered by the Senate, which stirred up a tempest between Joyner and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, a supporter of the bill (HB 683).

Scott is expected to sign all of the bills into law. He has until Friday, May 23, to act on all of the bills.

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