Fla. Legislature to Open 2013 Session Under New Leaders

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Legislature is about to open its 2013 session with new leadership.

The loquacious Don Gaetz will presides in the Senate when the 60-day session opens Tuesday and 33-year-old Will Weatherford steps into the biggest test of his political career as speaker of the 120-member House of Representatives.

The pair agree that lawmakers need to focus on important issues like the budget, education, health care, the proposed expansion of Medicaid, property insurance and election reform and not waste time on minor issues.

Republican and Democratic leaders are already questioning some of Gov. Rick Scott's priorities in his $74.2 billion budget proposal, including his push to offer a $2,500 across-the-board pay raise to school teachers and a one-time bonus for state employees.

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