Legislative pace quickens Tuesday in Tallahassee

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In a noticeably quicker legislative pace, more than 60 bills face the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, as they start a marathon session to consider bills on subjects including pension reform, the House’s tax-cut proposals and legalizing the strain of medical marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web.”

The House also meets in a mid-morning session to consider bills on a number of bills, including e-cigarette sales to minors, human trafficking and setting restrictions on lawsuits stemming from nursing home injuries, as well as a proposal expanding the powers of physician assistants to prescribe medications.

9 a.m.:

The Senate Appropriations Committee meets in Room 412 Knott Building to consider more than 60 bills, including high-profile measures about pensions, medical marijuana and taxes. Among the measures on the agenda is a proposal (SB 1114) that would revamp the state retirement system. Also, the committee is expected to consider a proposal (SB 1030), filed by Sens. Rob Bradley, Aaron Bean and Jeff Brandes that could help make available a strain of marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web” that supporters say can help children with a form of epilepsy that causes severe seizures. Another bill (HB 5601) is the House’s proposed tax-cut package.

10:30 a.m.:

The House will hold a floor session and consider numerous issues, including a proposal (SB 224 or HB 169) that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. The issue has drawn controversy because part of the House bill would bar local governments from passing restrictions on the sale of tobacco products. The House will take up bills (HB 7141, HB 1017 and HB 989) aimed at preventing human trafficking; proposals (HB 569 or SB 670) to put additional restrictions on lawsuits stemming from injuries to nursing home residents and HB 1275, which revises the circumstances physicians can prescribe medications.

Elsewhere in Florida:

The Agency for Health Care Administration will host a workshop that will include managed-care plans, behavioral-health providers and other parties at 8:30 a.m. in the Access Behavioral Health room of the  The Andrews Institute, 1020 Gulf Breeze Parkway in Gulf Breeze. The workshop will relate to care coordination and case management for residents of assisted-living facilities under managed care.

Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet meet in the Cabinet Room to consider a proposal to sell 142 acres of vacant land in Hillsborough County to a Mormon Church-affiliated firm. Proceeds from the sale could help the state’s efforts to preserve environmentally sensitive land. The cabinet will also hear an economic growth report from Department of Economic Opportunity director Jesse Panuccio.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, will lead a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that will focus on sea-level rise and coastal resilience beginning 10 a.m. at the Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr. in Miami Beach.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist will speak to the Capital Tiger Bay Club at 11:30 a.m. in the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, 505 West Pensacola St. in Tallahassee.

Gov. Rick Scott, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Cabinet members and legislative leaders expect to take part in a rally noon, steps of the Old Capitol marking the final leg of a 1,500-mile walk across Florida by sexual-abuse survivor Lauren Book, who is founder of the advocacy group Lauren’s Kids. The rally will follow a series of other events Monday and earlier Tuesday in Tallahassee.

The Medical Care Advisory Committee, which reviews and gives input about Medicaid issues, will meet starting 1 p.m. at the Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr. in Tallahassee. Among the topics will be the state’s request to the federal government for an extension of a program that provides family-planning services to low- and moderate-income women.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich will speak at a Martin County Democratic Party fund-raising event beginning 5:30 p.m. at the Best Western Hotel, 1209 S.E. Federal Highway in Stuart.

Republicans Lizbeth Benacquisto, Curt Clawson, Michael Dreikorn and Paige Kreegel will compete in a special primary election in Congressional District 19. The Southwest Florida seat became open when former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., resigned. The winner of the primary will run in a June 24 special general election.

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.