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Alimony

Alimony legislation dead for 2017, sponsor says

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Good news for opponents of this year’s alimony overhaul, and bad news for its supporters: The bills are dead for the year. Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, the Naples Republican who’s carrying the Senate version (SB 412), on Wednesday said the chair of its first committee of reference has refused to hear the bill. Rene Garcia chairs the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs. “Chairman Garcia determined that he was not interested in hearing it and I respect that decision,”  Passidomo said. “I don’t think leadership…

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2017 Legislative Session preview: Alimony rears its head

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Get ready for a rumble: Lawmakers will again tackle the sticky issue of alimony in the 2017 Legislative Session. Companion bills filed in the House and Senate aim to overhaul state alimony law to toughen the standards by which alimony is granted and changed. That’s despite unsuccessful tries in the last few years. Neither bill had a hearing in the committee weeks leading up to this year’s session, which begins Tuesday. Given its history, the effort promises to be one…

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Alimony reform bill filed for 2017

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State Rep. Colleen Burton will try again to overhaul the state’s alimony law, filing a bill on Wednesday. The Lakeland Republican still aims to toughen the standards by which alimony is granted and changed, after last year’s measure was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott. “I believe it is the right thing to do,” Burton said in a phone interview. “It costs families a lot of money to go through a process that has no starting point. This gives judges a starting point, the…

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Rick Scott vetoes contentious alimony bill

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed a controversial alimony reform bill, saying in his veto letter the legislation had the potential to put the “wants of a parent before the child’s best interest.” The bill was the last one sent to the governor, and is the final bill of the 2016 legislative session he needed to take action on. The Naples Republican signed two other bills — a bill dealing with mental health and substance abuse and another streamlining the process…

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Both sides of alimony reform putting pressure on Rick Scott

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Supporters and opponents of this year’s alimony overhaul bill will make their case at the Capitol on Tuesday. As Gov. Rick Scott reviews the legislation (SB 668), representatives of the Florida National Organization for Women, the League of Women Voters of Florida and other groups plan to meet with his staff at 11 a.m., according to FL-NOW lobbyist Barbara DeVane. Their goal: To explain “why this dangerous bill is wrong for Florida’s families and deserves his veto,” she said. At 10 a.m., however, bill proponents will…

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With Rick Scott’s blessing, “shacking up” now legal in Florida

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Gov. Rick Scott has approved a repeal of a 148-year-law that criminalizes an unmarried couple living together. The measure legalizing “cohabitation” (SB 498) was one of 20 bills signed into law by the governor on Wednesday. The change is largely a reflection of the times: Though Florida was among a few states that still criminalized cohabitation, its prohibition was essentially unenforced. Technically, a man and woman living together but not married could have been fined $500 and locked up for 60 days. There are almost…

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Kelli Stargel meets with Rick Scott on alimony bill

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State Sen. Kelli Stargel on Monday said Governor Rick Scott now has “all the information he needs” on her bill to overhaul the state’s alimony system. The measure (SB 668) was the final bill of the 2016 Legislative Session to be sent to Scott for review. It was delivered to his office after Stargel, a Lakeland Republican, briefly met with Scott in Tampa. The governor was in town for the opening of the U.S. headquarters of Granex, a marble and granite distributor. His daily schedule shows…

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