Written by The News Service of Florida Wednesday, 07 April 2010 04:43
On Tap in the Capitol - Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The News Service of Florida
TOPPING THE DAY
HOUSE IN SESSION: The House takes the floor in what may be a long session, as members are likely to take up the Education Standards and the Rewarding Excellent Teachers legislation on Special Order. While debate technically isn't allowed until the bill is on third reading, expect a long line of questions. The body will take up amendments as well. (1 p.m., House chamber, The Capitol.)
ALSO IN THE LEGISLATURE TODAY
HOUSE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS: The House Economic Development Council meets this morning and among the items on its agenda are a bill (HB 451) dealing with Space Florida and HB 1525 that would place on the ballot this fall a non-binding referendum for Floridians to express their opinion on whether the federal government should have a balanced budget requirement. (8 a.m., 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)
SENATE COMMUNITY AFFAIRS: Bills related to growth management (SB 274), the regulation of locksmiths (SB 658), children’s services (SB 1216) and the special risk retirement classification for court deputies (SB 1996) are among several bills in Senate Community Affairs this morning. (8 a.m., 412 Knott, The Capitol.)
DOG DISCLOSURE BILL: The Senate Agriculture Committee has a bill this morning by Sen. Larcenia Bullard that requires sellers of dogs and cats disclose to buyers the genetic disorders the animals may be susceptible to (SB 122.) (9 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)
HOUSE EDUCATION POLICY COUNCIL: John McKay scholarships for disabled students (HB 1505) and cooperation between school and juvenile justice officials (HB 603) are among several bills before the House Ed Policy Council. (9 a.m., 17 House Office Building, The Capitol.)
SMOKING IN CARS WITH KIDS: The Senate Transportation Committee has several license plate bills, and a measure (SB 2596) by Sen. Victor Crist that would allow for increased penalties for drivers who, when pulled over, are found to be smoking in a car while there are children in the vehicle. (Wednesday, 10:15 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building.)
BANKING AND INSURANCE: Several bills of interest to the business community, including Sen. Durell Peaden's bill on commercial insurance rates (SB 2176), and a bill dealing with the funeral and cemetery industry (SB 1152) are on the agenda in Senate B&I this morning. Property Insurance company representatives will be there, watching SB 2044, aimed at cracking down on abuses in the industry. Also, Ernie Csiszar, former Insurance Commissioner of South Carolina and former president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, is expected to testify before the committee about Florida’s property insurance market. (10:15 a.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.)
TAX BILLS IN SENATE COMMERCE: The Senate has several tax break bills before the Commerce Committee, although they're part of a long agenda the panel may have trouble getting to all of. Among the bills are tax breaks for participants in airplane sharing deals (SB 858), and bills dealing with the admissions tax (SB 1070, SB 1128) and the estate tax (SB 2620). The panel also has the bill dealing with cadmium in children's products (SB 2120). (10:15 a.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)
SENATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Fraudulent misrepresentation of military status (SB 1824) and faith and character-based prison programs (SB 2260) and “sexting” (SB 2560) are the subjects of legislation before Senate Criminal Justice. The committee has several bills available to it. (2 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)
SENATE HEALTH CARE REGULATION: The Senate Health Care Reg Committee takes up a handful of bills including SB 760, a health care omnibus bill, that among other things would phase out the adult day care health program within the Department of Elder Affairs by Dec. 31. (2 p.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.)
LONG JUDICIARY AGENDA: The Senate Judiciary Committee has 20 bills on its 2 hour agenda. Bills include the removal of the statute of limitations on sexual battery (SB 870), and a closely scrutinized bill (SB 290) increasing penalties when an unborn child is killed in a crime, a measure being watched by abortion rights, and anti-abortion advocates. (2 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)
SENATE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES: The Senate Children and Families Committee has a bill related to a Medicaid buy-in program for the disabled (SB 2038) and Medicaid coverage of behavioral health services (SB 476). (2:30 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)
SENATE HIGHER ED: The Senate Higher Education Committee has bills related to teaching nursing homes (SB 816), biomedical and social research (SB 2100) and resident status for tuition purposes (SB 2398). (2 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)
FLORIDA FOREVER DAY: Backers of the Florida Forever land-buying program are at the Capitol today for Florida Forever Day, trying to drum up support for continuing the long-running program. The Senate budget includes money for land purchases for this year, but the House does not. Gov. Charlie Crist plans to appear in support of the cause at 11:30 a.m., according to his schedule. (10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Waller Park, west side of Capitol.)
HOMELESS AWARENESS DAY: Advocates for the homeless hold a news conference to draw attention to Homelessness Awareness Day. Speakers are DCF Secretary George Sheldon, Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa, Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa, and Florida Coalition for the Homeless president Rayme Nuckles. (11 a.m., Fourth Floor Rotunda, The Capitol.)
SADOWSKI COALITION PRESSER: The Sadowski Coalition is calling on lawmakers to repeal the cap on the affordable housing trust fund and to use the money for housing. Speakers include Jaimie Ross, Affordable Housing Director, 1000 Friends of Florida and Jean Sadowski, widow of William E. Sadowski for whom the trust fund was named. (12:45 p.m., Old Capitol Steps, Courtyard side, The Capitol.)
CRIST ANNOUNCES ANNUAL CRIME STATS IN KISSIMMEE: Gov. Charlie Crist will announce the findings of the 2009 Annual Uniform Crime Report, the compilation of major crimes that occurred in the state that Florida has to send to the FBI every year. Crist will be joined by Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, and police and sheriffs’ officials. (2:30 p.m., Gaylord Palms Hotel & Convention Center, Orange Blossom Ballroom, 6000 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee.)
SUGAR DEAL TO SOUR?: The Miccosukee Tribe and New Hope Sugar Co. challenge a trial court's ruling that validated a $650 million bond issue in the South Florida Water Management District's bid to acquire 73,000 acres of farmland south of Lake Okeechobee. They argue that the project will benefit U.S. Sugar and serves no public purpose. Gov. Charlie Crist had hailed the sale of the land as a massive step forward in Everglades restoration. (9 a.m., Florida Supreme Court, 500 S. Duval St., Tallahassee.)
SLAP ON THE WRIST: The Florida Supreme Court will publicly reprimand Second Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey for violations of the judicial code of conduct, which stemmed from a YouTube video that urged viewers to "re-elect" her when, in fact, she hadn't been elected to the bench in the first place, but had been appointed. Dempsey also admitted her campaign represented to voters that she had 20 years of legal experience when she actually wasn't admitted to practice law until 1994. (9 a.m., Florida Supreme Court, 500 S. Duval St., Tallahassee.)
MEEK TOURS LOCKHEED MARTIN: U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek tours the Lockheed Martin advance combat systems plant in Orlando. After the tour, which is closed to press, Meek will meet with employees outside the plant and speak with workers, as well as holding a media availability. (12 p.m., Lockheed Martin, 5600 Sand Lake Rd., Orlando.)
This information originally published on April 7, 2010.
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