But the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has spearheaded a challenge to the law in the Supreme Court, contending that the measure gives too much decision-making authority to the Florida Public Service Commission. The case centers on the approval of proposals by Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy to pass along costs for new reactors in Miami-Dade and Levy counties that will not start operating for another decade, if ever.
Brian Armstrong, an attorney for the South Florida city of Pinecrest, which has sided with the Southern Alliance, told justices during October arguments that lawmakers "left unbridled discretion to the commission."
Attorneys for the PSC and the utilities, however, contend that the law is being properly carried out and that lawmakers were trying to provide incentives for more nuclear power.
"The Legislature made that policy determination that they want to encourage investment in nuclear plants,'' PSC attorney Samantha Cibula said during the arguments.
IN-VITRO CUSTODY CASE: In a first-of-its-kind case in Florida, the Supreme Court is trying to sort out a parental-rights dispute between two women who used in-vitro fertilization to have a child and then broke off their same-sex relationship.
The Brevard County case is complicated, in large part, because one of the women provided an egg that was fertilized and implanted in the other woman, who later gave birth. After the relationship ended, the woman who gave birth blocked her former partner from having parental rights.
The 5th District Court of Appeal ruled that the woman who provided the egg should have parental rights, setting up the Supreme Court case. She also has received legal backing from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, which works on gay and lesbian civil-rights issues.
During an October hearing, justices questioned whether a state law even contemplated such a situation or whether the law was designed to address anonymous sperm and egg donors, who don't have parental rights.
The women, who are identified in court documents only by their initials, were in a relationship from 1995 to 2006. The child was two years old when they separated.