Groups clash at Capitol over alimony reform

Groups make their way to governor's office


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Two competing news conferences, one for and one against alimony reform, clashed Tuesday at the state Capitol. Both sides were peaceful, but loud.

The day began with alimony reform supporters chanting their hopes for the alimony bill on the governor's desk.

"I pay 65 percent of my income to my ex-husband, who has a degree in business but chooses not to work because the court mandated that I support him," Tarie MacMillian said.

Women's groups that don't want the change got help from retired Polk County Judge Bob Doyel.

"The focus of this bill changes the focus of the judge from what's best for the children to what the parents want, and that's not what we as a state should be promoting," Doyel said.

After the two competing groups made their way to the governor's office, it got loud. Police were called in, just in case.

"There's not much fairness here, but greedy women that don't want to work," Glenn Broga said.

Opponents said they felt that they were being shouted down at their own event.

"They are rude and they are bullies, and now we know why they are divorced and probably lost custody of their children," said Barbara Devane of the National Organization for Women.

"Are you not being rude to this group?" reporter Mike Vasilinda asked.

”You know, I'm not being rude," Broga said. "I'm making $800 a month. How much do they make? How much does an alimony recipient make?"

Gov. Rick Scott has until April 19 to sign or veto the legislation. That's a day before his 44th wedding anniversary.

Scott was out of town during the rally. A spokesperson said he'll keep listening.

So far, the governor has received more than 10,000 calls from people who support the alimony bill and nearly 3,000 calls for those who oppose it.. Opponents said many of those writing are from out of state. Scott vetoed similar legislation in 2013, but those close to Scott said he is not tipping his hand.