Thursday legislative agenda: trauma centers, discrimination of pregnant women, school ROI and stadium tax breaks

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Thursday is the penultimate day of the 2014 legislative session, where both chambers are frantically trying to get bills through to beat the Friday, May 2 Sine Die deadline.

Among the dwindling House agenda, there are bills to ban discrimination against pregnant women, requiring report cards to show the school’s return on investment and restricting special districts from banning on-demand limousine technology, which could allow Uber to operate in Tampa Bay.

In the Senate, there are proposals to keep open three disputed trauma centers, a bill changing the process for tax breaks for sports stadiums projects, one to allow concealed weapons during mandatory evacuations and another establishing the Agency for State Technology.

9 a.m.:

The Senate Democratic caucus will hold a meeting. (Thursday, 9 a.m., 200 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

The House will hold a floor session. On the agenda are HB 105, which prohibits discrimination on basis of pregnancy in establishments and employment discrimination on basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; HB 875, to require school report cards to include school & school district return-on-investment ratings. In addition, the House will consider HB 1389, restricting the authority of special district to regulate use of limousines for hire using digital transportation request services, opening the door for services such as Uber to operate in Hillsborough County.

10 a.m.:

The Senate will hold a floor session. Today, they may get to the bill (SB 1216), sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala that would set up a new process that the state would use in determining whether to help pay for sports stadium projects, which include an amendment withholding funds for Major League Baseball facilities until it changes its policy on Cuban ballplayers. They could also vote on SB 1276, to keep three disputed trauma centers open. Also on the agenda is SB 928, which establishes an Agency for State Technology, in response to the troubled rollout of the CONNECT unemployment website in October; and SB 296, which allows concealed weapons or a concealed firearm while in the act of complying with a mandatory evacuation order during a declared state of emergency.

Elsewhere in Florida:

The Florida Supreme Court will release its weekly opinions at 11 a.m.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich will speak at 7 p.m. to University of Miami students and faculty at 6850 S.W. 119th St. in Miami.)

The state Agency for Health Care Administration will move forward with a plan to enroll most Medicaid beneficiaries in managed-care plans. AHCA has already enrolled seniors who need long-term care. However, beginning May 1, it also will start gradually enrolling the broader Medicaid population. The first phase will affect beneficiaries in counties across North Florida and parts of Central Florida. Those counties are Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla, Washington, Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns and Volusia.

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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.