Legislators hit the ground running Monday afternoon in Tallahassee

in Uncategorized by

Senate committees meet Monday afternoon for a scheduled agenda that includes elections reform and changes in Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground self-defense laws.

Three Senate appropriations subcommittees will discuss budget issues in preparation of the initial 2014-15 spending plan. Also, Senate Democrats will hold a news conference on unclaimed property.

Jesse Panuccio goes once again before a Senate committee for confirmation, and in the House, another committee will address revamping medical malpractice.

1 p.m.:

The Senate Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 110 of the Senate Office Building to look over budget numbers.

2:45 p.m.:

The Senate General Government Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 110 of the Senate Office Building to work on a preliminary budget.

The Senate Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 412 of the Knott Building, also to crunch budget numbers.

3 p.m.:

The House Judiciary Committee meet in Room 404 of the House Office Building to hold a workshop on a proposal (HB 739), filed by Rep. Jason Brodeur, that would cause sweeping changes in the way medical-malpractice cases are handled in Florida. The plan involves creating a regulatory order to compensate injured patients as a way to avoid litigation.

4:30 p.m.:

The Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee meets in Room 110 of the Senate Office Building to accommodate a confirmation hearing for Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Panuccio and the department have faced scrutiny in recent months because of problems with the state’s $68 million CONNECT unemployment-compensation computer system.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee meets in Room 37 of the Senate Office Building to consider two proposals (SB 130 and SB 122) to tweak the controversial “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law, and require training programs for neighborhood-watch participants. The proposal, sponsored by Sens. David Simmons and Minority Leader Chris Smith comes after a national controversy about the acquittal of Sanford neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin.

The Senate Ethics & Elections Committee meets in Room 412 of the Knott Building to take up proposal SB 1660 to allow online voter registration in Florida and new restrictions on drop-off locations for absentee ballots during early voting.


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.