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Alimony awaits Senate action

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After the House overwhelmingly approved a plan to revamp the state's alimony laws, the debate will go across the Capitol to the Senate.

House members voted 93-22 on Friday to approve a bill (HB 943), filed by Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, and Rules Chairman Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, that would make wide-ranging changes in the alimony system.

Those changes involve issues such as how long alimony should last and how it should be calculated.

Almost all House Republicans voted for the bill, with only Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale, joining 21 Democrats in opposition.

A similar Senate bill (SB 1248) has cleared the committee process but has not been heard on the Senate floor.

Lawmakers in 2013 passed an alimony overhaul, but it was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott. Sponsors have tried to address Scott's concerns in writing this year's bills.