A deadlocked committee vote after time expired further muddied the future of an already-tenuous attempt to bring destination casinos to Florida.
The Senate Finance and Tax Subcommittee tied on a 3-3 vote on the measure (SB 2050), a margin that would usually kill the bill. But Subcommittee Chairwoman Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, then announced that the rushed vote had actually happened after the panels scheduled 10:45 a.m. adjournment -- meaning the vote doesnt count.
A House committee on Tuesday approved a sweeping overhaul of the Public Service Commission aimed at preventing questions about ethics and relationships with regulated utilities that rocked the panel beginning in 2009.
The committee bill (ENUS 11-02) would make several changes to the PSC, including tightening rules against ex parte communications, implementing new education requirements for commissioners and -- in the provision that proved most controversial Tuesday allowing the attorney general to appoint the public counsel.
Two measures changing the rules of the game for gambling interests in the state passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday, potentially kicking off a new round of gambling fights in this year's session.
It's not clear whether the odds are in favor of either bill; Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, was largely ambivalent about both when asked about them Wednesday, and neither bill's House companion has been scheduled for a hearing yet.