Senate Approps to consider Charlotte’s Web, pension reform and taxes

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Senate Appropriations to consider Charlotte’s Web, pension reform and taxes

As the 2014 session winds down, the Senate Appropriations Committee could consider as many as 60 bills, including measures dealing with state pensions, medical marijuana and taxes.

Appropriations will meet 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, as both lawmakers and lobbyists try to push bills through committee and to a full Senate vote before the end of the session on May 2.

Also on the agenda is a proposal (SB 1114) to reconfigure the state retirement system, by extending the vesting period for government workers currently enrolled in the traditional pension plan, while funneling new workers into a 401(k)-style program if they do not choose a particular pension plan.

The committee expects to consider SB 1030, which could authorize a strain of marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web,” a pot extract that helps children who suffer severe seizures due to a form of epilepsy, but does not get users high.

Another bill facing Appropriations is HB 5601, the House’s proposed tax-cut package, including a series of sales-tax holidays.

The Senate’s tax-cut plan is significantly different.

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.