Legislative matters all over the map on Thursday

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Political and legislative action takes place all around Florida on Thursday, with meetings on protecting the state’s natural springs, changes in the Stand Your Ground self-defense laws to allow warning shots, fast-tracking a bill strengthening the penalties for sexual predators and more.

Elsewhere, gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist continues his book tour, David Jolly speaks in Oldsmar and the state university system’s Board of Governors will meet in Tampa to consider new leaders for both Florida Atlantic University and Florida A&M University.

8:30 a.m.:

The state Department of Health meets in the Cabinet meeting room of the Capitol for an event to mark 125 years of Florida public health.

9 a.m.:

The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee meets in Room 412 of the Knott Building.

The Senate Transportation Committee meets in Room 37 of the Senate Office Building.

The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee meets in Room 110 in the Senate Office Building to work on draft legislation aimed at protecting the state’s natural springs.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart will be in Reed Hall of the House Office Building to make a presentation to the House Education Committee about her recommendations for changes in the state’s school-accountability system.

The House Health & Human Services Committee meets in Morris Hall of the House Office Building to take up HB 287, filed by Rep. Frank Artiles, to change what is known as the “certificate of need” process for approvals of new nursing-home beds.

Noon:

The House Judiciary Committee meets in Room 404 of the House Office Building to hear HB 89, filed by Rep. Neil Combee, to grant immunity to people who show guns or fire warning shots in self-defense.

1 p.m.:

The Senate Appropriations Committee meets in Room 412 of the Knott Building to consider a series of bills (SB 522, SB 524, SB 526 and SB 528) aimed at strengthening laws that target sexual predators and sexual offenders. Senate President Don Gaetz has vowed to pass the measures quickly when the legislative session starts in March.

The House Economic Affairs Committee meets in Reed Hall of the House Office Building.

3:30 p.m.:

The House Rules & Calendar Committee meets in Room 404 of the House Office Building.

Elsewhere in Florida:

The state university system’s Board of Governors will meet Thursday, 1 p.m., in Traditions Hall, Gibbons Alumni Center at the University of South Florida in Tampa. On the agenda are a report from Chancellor Marshall Criser and confirmation of a new president for Florida Atlantic University and Florida A&M University.

David Jolly, Republican candidate in a special election for Florida’s Congressional District 13 to replace the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in, will speak during a meeting of the North Pinellas Republican Club. The meeting is Thursday, 6:30 p.m. at the Conservative Action Center, 3150 Tampa Road, Oldsmar.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist will continue his promotional tour for his new book, The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat on Thursday, 7 p.m. at the Barnes and Noble, 2051 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale.

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.