TALLHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Florida House Democrats are employing a little used procedural rule to bring legislative business to a crawl as they try to get Republicans in the lower chamber to expand health care coverage.
House Democrats are angry that Republicans will not consider a bill to use federal aid to expand health care coverage to approximately 1 million additional Floridians. The bill has already passed the senate by a wide margin.
So, Democrats are invoking a state constitutional requirement that all bills must be read in their entirety before they can be voted upon. Republicans have countered this move by using an "auto reader" machine to read the full text of the bills.
It's unknown how long Democrats will be able to maintain the procedural "filibuster," but House business has now slowed to a crawl Tuesday afternoon. Democrats said members went to the restroom before beginning the motion.
In the meantime, legislators from both sides of the aisle can be seen checking messages and e-mail on their cell phones while the auto reader does its job.
It's possible the move by Democrats could impact the Dolphins stadium bill's chances, according to CBS4's David Sutta.
The legislative session is scheduled to end on May 3.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.