The Florida Senate approved a controversial immigration bill in a 23-16 vote this morning with no debate. #
Senate Bill 2040 is now headed to the House. Because it is different from the House’s measure, it will need a two-thirds majority approval to get taken up on the floor. The legislative Hispanic caucus has taken a group position against the bills, which would mean Republicans likely don’t have the votes to send the measure to Gov. Rick Scott. #
The Senate’s bill requires the use of E-Verify by workforce boards and for people seeking government benefits. It also allows for the deportation of unauthorized immigrants who commit crimes, and for local authorities to check the immigration status of people who have been arrested and confined in jail. #
After the vote, dozens of immigrants and their advocates stood in the Senate gallery, singing hymns in protest as they left the building. When they arrived for yesterday’s debate of a blanket E-Verify provision, which failed, the sergeant-at-arms ordered them not to sing, chant or otherwise disrupt the business on the Senate floor. #
USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment Harris Sherman will be in McAlpin, Fla., on Monday to discuss the recent announcement of a strategic plan to improve the overall health of the gulf ecosystem.
Last week, lawmakers received grim news that Medicaid could cost the state more than expected in the upcoming year — numbers that provided the backdrop for continuing discussions about how to overhaul the program.