Ritch Workman, the Republican state representative from Melbourne who has already introduced a bill to legalize dwarf tossing, is back with another stunningly stupid and controversial bill. Just eight days after Workman finalized his own divorce, he introduced a new piece of legislation that would radically rewrite the state's alimony laws and would effectively let wealthy men who cheat on their wives off the financial hook.
HB549 would amount to a massive rewrite of the state's alimony laws. Most intriguing, if the bill became law, it would forbid judges from factoring in instances of adultery into their alimony decision. It would also cap the amount and length of alimony payments.
"My initial take is that it's basically anti-woman and anti-alimony," Richard West, past president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, tells the Orlando Sentinel. "More importantly, the bill was not very well thought-out."
He also calls the bill "the lawyer's relief act," because it would allow existing divorce settlements to be reopened and renegotiated under the new laws.
Even a guy who used to represent Elin Nordegren, Tiger Wood's ex-wife, calls the bill "draconian."
Workman, though, unlike his staunch defense of his dwarf-tossing bill, seems to be backing down. He says he'll remove language that would place a cap on alimony payments, but has yet to do so.
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"A cap is a bad idea," he says. "If I had thought through it, I would have realized that."
Really? Isn't that your job? To think through the bills you write that could affect hundreds of thousands of people in the state before you introduce them? Oy.
Workman finalized his own divorce November 2 but says the bill would not affect him because he is not paying alimony.