Fun infographic from SSG: Zombies, Ganga and warning shots highlight post-session snapshot

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Zombies, Ganga and warning shots — only in Florida can all three top a post-session list of legislative successes.

They are just a few of the highlights coming out of the recently ended “killer” session, illustrated in a new 2014 Session Snapshot from the talented team at Southern Strategy Group.

The powerful lobbying firm scored a few of the hits — and misses — of the annual 60-day meeting. Final calculations show that out of the 1,812 proposals filed during the session, including bills, resolutions and memorials, 264 passed, with another 828 failing to make it. Lawmakers never heard the remaining 720.

Fewer bills passed in 2014 than in the previous year and the overall passage rate was 14 percent.

Among this session’s successes is a record budget of $77.1 billion, rolling back $400 million in automobile registration fees and the approval of the form of medical marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web,” a non-euphoric extract effective in the treatment of seizures in children.

Legislators also decriminalized firing warning shots to deter attackers, but firearm owners still cannot carry a concealed weapon without a permit during times of emergency — even in a zombie apocalypse.

Other session losers include destination casinos and craft-beer producers, who were looking for fewer restrictions on direct beer sales. On the other hand, beer distributors also wanted higher restrictions on craft breweries, something they too did not get.

SSG also noted a few of the more exciting developments in the Capitol, such as a new competitive process for sports teams vying for state funds, more than $40 million going for digital classrooms and another $200 million to develop education technologies in Florida.

They also pointed out incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner’s filing a motion to move the 2016 session to Orlando – as a gag.

The infographic is available here:

legislative winning infographic

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.