In the Sunshine State, Democrats hold only 44 House seats compared to Republicans' 76. So since they lack a majority of votes, they've decided to shut down business altogether to block an 11th hour attempt to restrict women's reproductive rights.
Senate Republicans slipped a couple of anti-choice amendments into a health care bill on Wednesday. One bans the use of state or federal funds from being used on abortion, except for rape/incest and health exceptions; the other insists women pay for mandatory ultrasounds before having an abortion. Oh, and ultrasounds can cost anywhere from $200-$1000 — talk about adding insult to injury.
But under Florida procedural rules, a minority of representatives can block bills originating in the state senate that skipping passing through committee and a public debate. So the House Democrats have decided that this is just the last straw, and are planning to stop movement on any legislation through tomorrow, which happens to be the last day of the legislative session. That's right: Republicans thought they could sneak the anti-choice measures in at the last minute, when the legislature needs to get everything wrapped up. If the Democrats get a promise that the anti-choice bill will be tabled for the session, however, they'll unlock the floor.
I'll try not harp on the fact that Democrats in Florida are taking a stand for women's reproductive rights, even though they're in the minority, whereas a majority of Democrats in the U.S. Congress couldn't manage to pretend to have a collective spine. But it's nice to see Democrats somewhere showing a bit of spunk.
p.s. sign the petition to get Palin to personally help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf (drill bb drill!)