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House photo by Mark Foley  House members take their oath of office on the House floor. From the left shows: Carl Zimmermann, (D)-District 65; Mark Danish (D)-District 63; Dwight Dudley (D)-District 68; Daniel Raulerson (R)-District 58; and Ross Spano (R)-District 59, on Nov. 20, 2012 in Tallahassee, Florida. Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricky Polston administered the oath.
Florida Matters: 2013 Legislative Preview

State lawmakers only have one thing they must do each year and that is to pass a balanced budget. Yet, there are plenty of issues to keep lawmakers busy this year.

Florida Matters offers a preview of the “other” issues lawmakers will tackle this session featuring insights from Mary Ellen Klas, who covers state politics for the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau, Senator Tom Lee, a Republican from Brandon who served as Senate President from 2004-2006, and freshman state Representative Mark Danish, a seventh grade science teacher and Democrat representing the New Tampa area.

Some of the topics discussed include voting reforms, education funding, how to manage proposed increases in the state-run Citizens Property Insurance, ethics and efforts to have a more harmonious legislative session which starts March 5th.

Committee meetings start up again beginning January 14th in Tallahassee. And there will be a hearing into the 2012 election problems and solutions on Monday as well.

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Florida Matters tackles tough issues, highlights little-known stories from our part of the world, and provides a greater perspective of what it means to live in the Sunshine State.

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