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State capitol briefs: Volusian Mori Hosseini hired to chair state university Board of Governors
Also in Tallahassee news: voters back 'stand your ground' law and more
posted Nov 21, 2013 - 3:36:46pm
HOSSEINI TO CHAIR BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Daytona Beach home builder Mori Hosseini was chosen Thursday as the next chairman of the state university system's Board of Governors. Hosseini, who has served on the board since 2010, will replace outgoing Chairman Dean Colson in January. Recently, Hosseini led a search committee that recommended AT&T Florida President Marshall Criser to become chancellor of the university system. The Board of Governors on Wednesday approved hiring Criser. Hosseini is chairman and chief executive officer of Intervest Construction, Inc., and also has been a prominent Republican donor and fundraiser. Colson is slated to remain on the Board of Governors through 2017.
VOTERS BACK 'STAND YOUR GROUND'
After months of controversy about Florida's "stand your ground" law, voters continue to strongly support the self-defense measure, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. The poll shows that 60 percent of voters support the premise of the law, which is that people can fight back with deadly force if they feel threatened, even if they have opportunities to retreat. That is up slightly from 57 percent support in a June poll. Overall, 34 percent of voters opposed "stand your ground" in the new poll, down slightly from 36 percent in June. Independent voters support the law by a margin of 63 percent to 33 percent, while Republicans support it by a margin of 83 percent to 11 percent. Democrats oppose it by a margin of 58 percent to 36 percent. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,646 registered voters from Nov. 12 to Nov. 17, and the poll has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
BILL WOULD DOUBLE FINES FOR TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IN SCHOOL ZONES
Rep. Richard Stark, D-Weston, wants to increase the penalty for motorists who text while behind the wheel in school zones. Stark on Wednesday proposed a measure (HB 333) that would double fines for texting while driving in legally posted school zones or designated school crossings. The state's new texting-while-driving ban went into effect Oct. 1 and carries a penalty of $30 and court costs for first-time offenders. The law only allows enforcement as what is known as a "secondary offense." That means motorists can only be cited for texting while driving if they are pulled over for other reasons. Last month, Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, filed a measure (SB 322) that would allow police to stop motorists for texting while driving.
LEE FILES BILL TO BAR INSURERS FROM CONSIDERING GUN OWNERSHIP
Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, filed a measure (SB 424) this week that would prohibit property and auto insurers from canceling policies or refusing to issue coverage because of customers' legal ownership of firearms. The proposal would also prohibit insurers from imposing an "unfairly discriminatory rate" due to gun ownership. The measure, a companion to a proposal (HB 255) filed Nov. 4 by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, also prohibits insurers from disclosing to other parties the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm by an applicant or policyholder.
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