Prior to final budget negotiations, committees play cleanup with remaining bills

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Now that the House and Senate have approved their proposed budgets last week, the real legislative work begins – negotiating a final, comprehensive spending plan.

However, most legislative debates — at least the public ones —take a little time to get off the ground. That means in the lead up to the final budget compromise, lawmakers will have a chance to hold confirmation hearings and get remaining bills in front of committees.

On Monday’s (non-budget) agenda are metal recycling regulations, a bill to bolster the state’s film industry and the formation of a sexual predator “task force” in the attorney general’s office.

9 a.m.:

The Self-Insurance Estimating Conference meets in Room 117 of the Knott Building to consider costs in the state-employee health insurance program.

Noon:

The Senate Ethics & Elections Committee meets in Room 412 of the Knott Building to hold confirmation hearings for dozens of people appointed to state, regional and local positions.

1 p.m.:

The Education Estimating Conference meets in Room 117 of the Knott Building to analyze information about public-school enrollment.

4 p.m.:

The Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee meets in Room 110 of the Senate Office Building to consider a bill (SPB 7128) that seeks to shore up Florida’s film and entertainment industry.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee meets in Room 37 of the Senate Office Building to consider a bill (SB 1416), filed by Sen. Aaron Bean, that would set up a “strike force” in the attorney general’s office to locate sexual predators and offenders who have fled from state supervision.

The Senate Agriculture Committee meets in Room 301 of the Senate Office Building to take up three bills, including a proposal (SB 1182), filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, to revamp the regulation of secondary metal recyclers.

5:30 p.m.:

The House Rules & Calendar Committee meets in Sumner Hall, Room 404 of the House Office Building to set the special order calendar.

Elsewhere in Florida:

Health groups will hold a news conference at 10:15 a.m. in the Old Capitol Building in Tallahassee to criticize part of HB 169, which would take away local governments’ power to regulate the sale of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes — a legal concept known as state “preemption.” The bill also would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

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.