Capitol Preview: What to expect this week in Florida politics

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There is just one legislative committee meeting this week, a meeting of the House’s Select Committee on the federal health care, which meets for a couple hours Thursday afternoon to talk about the effect of the law on the state employee group plan and on insurance regulation. 

For the most part it’s a quiet week ahead of the beginning of the full legislative session, which comes a week from Tuesday. 

MONDAY

FIC AVAILABILITY: Officials from the Florida Insurance Council and the Insurance Information Institute will hold a media availability to discuss insurance issues expected to come up during the coming legislative session. Among those issues are personal injury protection, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, the federal health care law and workers compensation. (Monday, 10 a.m., Florida Press Center, 336 E. College Ave., Tallahassee.)

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WORKSHOP ON TEACHER EVALUATIONS: The state Department of Education is conducting workshops on proposed rules for teacher evaluations – 6A-5.030-Instructional Personnel Assessment Systems and 6A-5.0411- Calculations of Student Learning Growth Using Statewide Assessment Data for Use in School Personnel Evaluations. Teachers and others can speak on the proposed rules, which are athttp://www.fldoe.org/profdev/pa.asp . The agency is holding two workshops on Monday, followed by others later in the week. (Monday, 4 p.m., Broward College Central Campus, Bldg. 22, Room 136, 3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie; 4 p.m., CST, Gulf Coast State College, Gibson Lecture Hall, 5230 W. US 98, Panama City.)

WLRN / MIAMI HERALD TOWN HALL ON THE SESSION: WLRN Radio in Miami and The Miami Herald are hosting a town hall on the upcoming legislative session at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Members of the public are invited and about 1,000 are expected. WLRN Senior Anchor Phil Latzman is the moderator of a session that will also include Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau Chief Mary Ellen Klas. The town hall starts at 6:30 p.m., but before it the participants will take part in a reception starting at 5 p.m. (Monday, 6:30 p.m., Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5 Ave., Fort Lauderdale.)

TUESDAY

SEN. LEGG HOLDS TOWN HALL: Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, holds a town hall meeting in his district Tuesday to hear from constituents about issues of concern. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Copperstone Executive Suites, 3632 Land O’Lakes Blvd., Suite 100, Land O’Lakes, 12 p.m., New River Branch Library, 34043 SR 54, Wesley Chapel.)

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WORKSHOP ON TEACHER EVALUATIONS: The state Department of Education continues workshops on proposed rules for teacher evaluations – 6A-5.030-Instructional Personnel Assessment Systems and 6A-5.0411- Calculations of Student Learning Growth Using Statewide Assessment Data for Use in School Personnel Evaluations. Teachers and others can speak on the proposed rules, which are athttp://www.fldoe.org/profdev/pa.asp . (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Florida Gulf Coast University, Sugden Resort and Hospitality Management Building, Room 110, 10501 FGCU Blvd., South, Fort Myers; 4 p.m., Florida State College at Jacksonville, Advanced Tech Center, Room T-140, 401 W. State St., Jacksonville.)

WEDNESDAY

GREENWAYS AND TRAILS DISCUSSED: The Florida Greenways and Trails Council will hold a conference call to discuss the 2013 to 2017 greenways and trails system plan. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., dial-in: 888-670-3525; participant passcode: 6790547274# )

U.S. SUPREMES HEAR VOTING RIGHTS ACT: The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in Shelby County vs. Holder, a case out of Alabama that challenges a provision in the Voting Rights Act that requires some areas with a history of discrimination to get approval from the Department of Justice for any voting changes. The case could have wide-ranging ramifications, including for Florida, where five counties are covered by the section of the law that the justices will consider. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Supreme Court of the United States, 1 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C.)

COMMON CORE STANDARDS SUMMIT: The Florida Council of 100 and other groups hold a summit on implementing the new Common Core Standards, with a keynote address by Education Commissioner Tony Bennett. There’s also a panel featuring Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, and another that includes former Senate President Toni Jennings and former House Speaker Allan Bense. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Crystal Ballroom AB, 6677 Sea Harbor Dr., Orlando.)

REVENUE ESTIMATES: The Revenue Estimating Conference meets to revise projections on Communications Services Tax collections, gross receipts taxes and how that translates into funds available for public school construction. The estimates come as lawmakers set to return in March to begin crafting budgets. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

THURSDAY

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ROUNDTABLE:  A panel including representatives from Bloomberg Government, The Tax Institute at H&R Block, leading experts and policy makers will examine the “real world implications” of implementing the Affordable Care Act at the state level. Panelists include Rose Naff, CEO of Florida Health Choices, Dr. Michael Garner, CEO of Florida Association of Health Plans,  Bloomberg health care analyst Peter Gosselin and Marshall Kapp, director of the Center for Innovative Collaborations in Medicine & Law at Florida State University. (Thursday, 8 a.m. Hotel Duval, 415 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee.)

STATE HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS TALLIED: The Self-Insurance Estimating Conference will discuss the state-employee health insurance program. Among the issues that could be discussed are offering coverage to temporary workers as part of carrying out the federal Affordable Care Act. (Thursday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

SEN. LEGG HOLDS TOWN HALL: Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, holds two more town hall meetings in his district Tuesday to hear from constituents about issues of concern. (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Ben Hill Middle School, 5200 Ehrlich Rd., Tampa; 12:30 p.m., Martinez Middle School, 5601 W Lutz Lake Fern Rd., Lutz.)

SUPREME COURT OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court releases opinions. (Thursday, 11 a.m.) 

HOUSE OBAMACARE COMMITTEE MEETS: The House Select Committee on PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) will meet to discuss issues related to insurance regulation and the state-employee health insurance program. The federal law, better known as Obamacare, could spur changes on those issues, including the addition of temporary workers to the state insurance program. (Thursday, 1 p.m., 17 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WORKSHOP ON TEACHER EVALUATIONS: The state Department of Education continues a workshop on proposed rules for teacher evaluations – 6A-5.030-Instructional Personnel Assessment Systems and 6A-5.0411- Calculations of Student Learning Growth Using Statewide Assessment Data for Use in School Personnel Evaluations. Teachers and others can speak on the proposed rules, which are athttp://www.fldoe.org/profdev/pa.asp . (Thursday, 4 p.m., Valencia College, 8600 Valencia College Ln., Criminal Justice Institute Bldg., Room 152, Orlando.)

FRIDAY

MEDICAID EXPANSION: The Social Services Estimating Conference will take another whack at the proposed costs of expanding Medicaid benefits to people up to 133 percent of poverty, an optional program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. So far, the price of adding nearly 1 million people to the Medicaid rolls will cost between $3  billion and $26 billion over the next decade. The panel of economists from the Legislature and the governor’s office will attempt to narrow that range as lawmakers consider whether to expand the program. (Friday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.