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Jeff Atwater Predicts…

Senate President Jeff Atwater handicapped some of the big issues Thursday evening that remain adrift between the House and Senate. Among them:
  
Medicaid reform:

“I think we’re going to have to know within the next couple of days whether we can send back the next step, that includes much of what the House is outlining, or whether we can go that far,” Atwater said.

But he acknowledged the two sides have taken widely divergent approaches. The Senate wants to expand a five-county Medicaid pilot program to 19 counties, drawing 250,000 low-income Floridians into managed care. The House would expand Medicaid managed care statewide over the next five years.

“It’s late in session and we’re looking to see what we can do,” Atwater said, adding, “I don’t consider it dead. I think it’s that bold of an idea…it’s what we need to do. (But) I don’t know if all the elements are right at this moment.”

And red light cameras:

The effort to give cities authority to install cameras to capture images and later ticket motorist who run red lights has failed to win legislative approval for five straight years. The House advanced a bill on Thursday that could get a final vote as early as Friday.

“We’ve kind of wrestled with it for several years,” Atwater acknowledged. “This may be finally be the year…I think it’s going to happen.”

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