On last day before Easter/Passover week, both chambers in session

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On the last day before the Easter/Passover week recess, both chambers are in session. The House will consider the controversial trauma center issue, allowing tax offices to handle concealed weapons permits and an appropriations bill creating an interconnected network of biking/hiking trails throughout the state.

The Senate, in a morning session, will take up school grading systems, tuition costs and the “Florida Unborn Victims of Violence Act; ” which makes the death of bodily injury of an unborn child a separate criminal offense.

House committees meet to address their version of the “Anti-Foreign Law Bill,” which prohibit Florida judges from applying foreign law, as well as banning marriage licenses for minors under 16 years of age.

The speeds on Florida highways could increase if legislators pass a bill currently in the House Economic Affairs Committee.

8 a.m.:

The House Economic Affairs Committee meets in Reed Hall, Room 102 of the House Office Building to assess 11 bills, including HB 761, which allows the Department of Transportation to increase the speed limits on certain Florida highways and HB 1359, to exempt rural carriers of the USPS from requirements to wear a safety belt while performing their duties.

The House Judiciary Committee meets in Room 404 of the House Office Building to consider 12 bills, including HB 903, the House version of the “Anti-Foreign Law Bill,” which prohibit Florida judges from applying foreign laws unless the applicable foreign law guarantees the “same” constitutional protections defined by the U.S. and Florida constitutions. They will also consider HB 1279, which prevents issuance of marriage licenses to minors under 16 years of age.

The House State Affairs Committee meets in Morris Hall of the House Office Building to consider 14 bills, including HM 1427, a measure urging Congress to support Florida citrus industry in its effort to prevent and defeat citrus greening disease, and HB 849, which requires public accommodations to allow the use of service animals by the disabled.

9:30 a.m.:

The Senate will convene a morning session. The agenda includes consideration of a bill overhauling the school grading system, discussion about tuition costs, as well as bill SB 864, filed by Sen. Alan Hays, that would shift responsibility for instructional materials from the state to local school boards.  The Senate will also vote on SB 162, known as the “Florida Unborn Victims of Violence Act,” making the death of bodily injury of an unborn child a separate criminal offense.

12:30 p.m.:

The House will convene an afternoon session. The agenda includes the controversial measure ratifying Department of Health rules in allowing trauma centers to continue operating and an Appropriation bill that will maintain a statewide network of interconnected biking/walking trails across the state. Another measure will allow state tax collector offices to handle and process concealed weapons licenses. They will also consider a bill limiting the liability of schools that give canned or perishable food to charitable or nonprofit organizations.

Elsewhere in Florida:

The Florida College System Council of Presidents will meet to discuss issues in the system beginning 8:30 a.m. at the TCC Capitol Center, 300 West Pensacola St. in Tallahassee.

The State Board of Education will meet beginning 9 a.m. at the Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way in Tallahassee.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.