FLORIDA – Florida lawmakers ended their brief overtime with a budget approval. The 2018 Legislature ended with a rare Sunday session, capped by lawmakers approving an $88.7 billion state budget along with a flurry of election–year tax breaks.
The session’s last month was shadowed by the Valentine’s Day massacre of 14 students and three adults at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The event spurred gun–control demonstrations at the Florida Capitol, and lawmakers responded with a $400 million school security and mental health package, along with new limits on gun purchases, signed into law Friday by Gov. Rick Scott. While dozens of students from the school joined demonstrators at the Capitol calling for a ban on assault–style rifles and high–capacity magazines, those efforts by House and Senate Democrats failed to get a hearing from the Republican–ruled Legislature.