As Reported by Gary Fineout for The Current
The unfolding controversy over abortion has caused the Florida House to shut down on Thursday morning. House Democrats told Republican leaders that they would not go along with normal procedural moves to speed along consideration of bills unless House leaders agreed to not take up HB 1143. Under rules it takes a two-thirds vote to take up a bill and message and roll it to final passage. There are 44 Democrats in the 120-member House.
The procedural move prompted the House to recess shortly after it began work.
The Florida Senate on Wednesday tagged on several controversial amendments to the bill including a limit on tax deductions for employer health insurance plans that include coverage for abortions and requiring women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds. The Senate has not yet passed the bill and sent it back to the House, but the decision to add the provisions to HB 1143 caused a highly charged debate on the Senate floor that lasted more than two hours.