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Florida: 5 Things To Know For April 3

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

FLORIDA LEGISLATORS TO VOTE ON RIVAL SPENDING PLANS

Florida legislators are going to vote on rival versions of a new state budget. Both the House and Senate are expected to debate and vote Thursday on a roughly $75 billion budget. The votes will trigger a final series of budget negotiations. State legislators have until early May to pass a final budget and send it to Gov. Rick Scott. The House budget is nearly $75.3 billion while the Senate budget is nearly $75 billion.

GROUP INTERVENING IN FLORIDA GAY MARRIAGE LAWSUITS

The group that pushed Florida’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is intervening in lawsuits filed by gay couples that raise challenges. Florida Family Policy Council officials said Wednesday they would seek to preserve the constitutional amendment approved by more than 62 percent of voters defining marriage as between one man and one woman. A lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court claims the amendment violates equal protection guarantees.

FLORIDA WOMAN WHO KILLED 3 LOSES LICENSE

Two months after running over and killing three people in a parking lot following a church service, a 79-year-old Florida woman had her license suspended for a year and was fined $1,000 by a judge. Doreene Landstra pleaded no contest in court Wednesday to improper backing, which is a noncriminal traffic infraction.

FIU HONORS BEST-SELLING AUTHOR AMY TAN

Best-selling author Amy Tan will be honored at Florida International University. The author of “The Joy Luck Club” will receive the Lawrence Sanders Award for Fiction on Thursday. Tan will also speak and participate in a public discussion at the event. Tan was born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrant parents. Her parents urged her to become a doctor or concert pianist, but instead she chose to write.

15 MAYORS IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY BIKE TO WORK

More than a dozen mayors in Miami-Dade County will leave their cars behind and ride their bicycles to work. The mayors are taking part in the “Bike305 Bike to Work Day” on Thursday, including Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. Residents are also encouraged to do the same by combining their bike ride with public transportation to get to work.

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