The Senate voted 21-15 against taking a House bill that would have steered certain public employees away from the Florida Retirement System and into a 401 (k) investment styled plan run by the state.
But with just two days left in session it's important to note that there are a handful of other bills - some that have not gotten as much attention - that will decide whether the 2014 session of the Florida Legislature lurches to the finish or implodes.
And some of those bills are in the hands of Weatherford as he waits to see whether or not the Florida Senate act on some of his remaining priorities.
Weatherford acknowledged even as much during a brief availability with reporters after the pension bill met its demise.
"i think we have plenty of time to take up some of those priorities,'' Weatherford said. "I think you will see some bills that have been viewed as priorities of both the House and Senate start to get some legs."
So what are some of the important bills left in play:
SB 1512: This is a bill that merges an expansion of Florida's private school voucher program with legislation that would provide additional assistance to families with special needs children. But the bill as it now stands includes additional testing provisions for schools accepting vouchers that private school operators are likely unwilling to accept.
Weatherford conceded that there remain conversations about how much "accountability" should be placed on those private schools.
Now adding to the intrigue is a late-filed amendment by Sen. Kelli Stargel. Her amendment keeps largely intact the testing provision but would allow the program to begin accepting middle income families in three years.
This bill is no doubt an important one to Weatherford. And how the Senate treats this bill could well determine what happens to other important remaining pieces of legislation.
HB 5601: The package of tax cuts that comprises the remaining $100 million or so that legislative leaders promised before the session has been a constantly evolving piece of legislation that has been changed substantially several times in its trip through the House, over to the Senate and is likely to be changed once again when it comes up for a final vote.
Along the way the bill has contained multiple sales tax holidays, a cut in the state's communication services tax and the current version even has help for Daytona International Speedway.
No doubt this is supposed to be a must-pass bill. But so far it's not clear if a final deal has been reached.
But to register the seriousness of this bill Rep. Ritch Workman, the chairman of the House Finance and Tax committee, acknowledged that he's been negotiating directly with Sen. Joe Negron, the Senate budget chief, on the final version of the bill and bypassing Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, who is his counterpart in the Senate. There was reportedly a deal reached on this important bill late Wednesday evening.
HB 851: This is the bill that would allow students who are in the country illegally qualify for in-state tuition rates. Right now it would appear the Florida Senate will pass the bill and send it over to the House. But of course that only came after a lot of drama and public lobbying for the legislation by Gov. Rick Scott. Passage of this bill gives Scott the ability to declare victory for the 2014 session.
SB 1030: This is the bill overwhelmingly passed by the Florida Senate that allows a certain strain of marijuana to be used for medical purposes. The House version, sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz, has never made it to the floor. Yet it's clear that this bill has become a priority of many Republicans. Weatherford sounds as if he plans to allow the bill to be considered. But it also appears that this might be one of those bills that remains in play till near the end.
SB 1216/HB 7095: Resolving the pro stadium controversy once and for all is a top priority for a lot of legislators, including incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner, not to mention a lot of lobbyists Just this week in the rotunda Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was introducing Sen. John Thrasher to the owner of the new Orlando soccer team. When Dyer thanked Thrasher for his help on the bill, he paused and told them the person they ought to thank is Gardiner. Now of course it wouldn't be surprising if the back-and-forth over what should be in the bill, and what should not be in this bill will go down to the final hours.
Now this isn't to say there are not a lot of other important bills still in play, including a train of health care proposals. There are rumblings that other bills, such as the film incentives legislation, may be resurrected as well.
As we get closer to the end it will be interesting to see whether or not Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz remain cordial - at least in public. The tension between the two presiding officers has been building all session but so far it has remained largely out of sight. If something happens to some of these bills then that could change quickly.