Fla. Democratic Sen. Thompson gets money for earmark after voting for Republican-backed bill

Orlando-SentinelBy Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel, 4/10/13

Forty-eight hours ago, Sen. Geraldine Thompson stunned activists by casting the deciding vote in favor of a hotly contested bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Alan Hays, that would restrict courts from invoking international law in certain legal disputes, such as divorce or child-custody cases.

Critics have blasted the legislation (SB 58) as anti-Islamic pandering, and Thompson could have single-handedly killed the bill. Instead, the Orlando Democrat sided with Republicans on the Senate's Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee and allowed it to squeak by on a 5-4 vote.

Today, the Republican-controlled Senate did something for Thompson. The chamber voted to insert $150,000 into its budget for a project in which mobile farmers markets selling fresh produce would be organized in urban "food deserts" around Orange County. Thompson has been pushing for the project, as Orange County's food deserts are heavily concentrated in her lower-income, urban district.

The co-sponsor of the budget amendment this morning: Sen. Alan Hays. (Full article)

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