Tuesday’s legislative agenda chock-full of high-profile issues

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On a packed Tuesday schedule, Senate committees will address human trafficking and sexual exploitation, restricting nursing home lawsuits and allowing undocumented immigrant children to pay in-state tuition. Other meetings will have PSC members face confirmation hearings and several appropriation committees will meet to discuss the upcoming 2014-2015 budget.

The House considers a bill focusing on medical payouts in lawsuits, boosting child protection and keeping information shaded during college searches.

In addition, former Gov. Reubin Askew’s body will lie in state in the Historic Capitol. Askew, 85, died Thursday. His body will arrive at the Historic Capitol at 10 a.m., and the public will be able to view the flag-draped casket until 6 p.m.

8 a.m.:

The Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee meet in Room 37 of the Senate Office Building and the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee meet in Room 404 of the House Office Building to take up proposals (SPB 7088 and HB 1017) that would take steps to curb human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Senate bill, for instance, would require that cases involving sexually exploited children get assigned to child-protective investigators and case managers who have special training.

The Senate Education Committee meets in Room 412 of the Knott Building will take up a bill (SB 1400), filed by Sen. Jack Latvala, that would make a series of changes in higher-education tuition, including allowing undocumented-immigrant students to qualify for in-state tuition rates.

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets in Room 110 of the Senate Office Building to take up a compromise proposal (SB 670) filed by Sen. John Thrasher that would place some restrictions on lawsuits against nursing homes. Among other things, the bill would shield “passive” investors from liability when nursing homes are sued because of resident injuries or deaths.

8:30 a.m.:

The Senate Communications, Energy & Public Utilities Committee meets in room 301 of the Senate Office Building to hold confirmation hearings for Public Service Commission Chairman Art Graham and commission member Ronald Brise.

9 a.m.:

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee meets in Room 404 of the House Office Building to take up a proposal (HB 379), filed by Rep. Dave Hood that would limit payments for medical services in personal-injury or wrongful death lawsuits. The bill would change the way medical expenses are calculated.

The House Government Operations Subcommittee meet in Room 212 of the Knott Building to take up a proposal (HB 135) filed by Rep. Dave Kerner that would create a public-records exemption for information about applicants for top positions at Florida colleges and universities.

The Cabinet meets in the Cabinet room to hear reports from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the State Board of Administration, and discuss aquaculture leases in Broward, Levy and Wakulla counties. among others.

The House Healthy Families Subcommittee meets in Room 12 of the House Office Building to take up a wide-ranging proposal (PCB HFS 14-03) that seeks to make improvements in the state’s child-welfare system. The House and Senate have focused on the issue after a series of highly publicized deaths last year.

9:30 a.m.:

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Reed Hall of the House Office Building.

The House K-12 Subcommittee meets in Morris Hall of the House Office Building.

10 a.m.:

The House Rulemaking Oversight & Repeal Subcommittee meets in Room 306 of the House Office Building to consider a PCB to adopt the Department of Health’s rule on where and how many trauma centers can operate.

10:30 a.m.:

The Senate holds a morning session, with the agenda including a bill (SB 224), filed by Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

12:30 p.m.:

The House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee meets in Room 306 of the House Office Building to consider a proposal (HB 7099) leading to a major expansion of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which helps pay for low-income children to attend private schools.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee meets in Reed Hall of the House Office Building.

The House Business & Professional Regulation Subcommittee meets in Room 12 of the House Office Building.

The House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Morris Hall of the House Office Building.

The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 212 of the Knott Building.

The House Transportation & Highway Safety Subcommittee meets in Room 404 of the House Office Building.

2:45 p.m.:

Senate appropriations subcommittees will meet

The Senate Criminal & Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 37 Senate Office Building to work on the Senate’s initial 2014-15 budget proposal.

The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 412 of the Knott Building to discuss budgets for the Department of Education and the State University System, and consider a proposal expanding the Career and Professional Education Act, passed last session.

The Senate Transportation, Tourism & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 110 of the Senate Office Building to discuss budgets.

3 p.m.:

The House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee meets in Room 212 of the Knott Building.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee meets in Room 306 of the House Office Building.

The House Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Reed Hall of the House Office Building.

The House Education Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Morris Hall of the House Office Building.

4:30 p.m.:

The Senate General Government Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 110 of the Senate Office Building.

The Senate Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee meets in Room 412 of the Knott Building.

5:30 p.m.:

The Florida Farm Bureau Federation hosts the “Taste of Florida” Agricultural Reception” in the Capitol Courtyard.

Elsewhere in Florida:

The Florida Board of Education meets Tuesday 9 a.m. via phone conference to take up several issues including proposals to establish baccalaureate-degree programs at Eastern Florida State College, Florida Gateway College and Santa Fe College, as well as a report from Education Commissioner Pam Stewart and an update on virtual education. (Call-in number: 1-888-339-2688. Passcode: 337 986 39)

Rep. Ricardo Rangel will host health-care “navigators” in his district office Tuesday, 9 a.m. at 704 Mabbette St., Kissimmee to try to help increase enrollment in coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and The Arc of Florida will help lead a news conference Tuesday, 11 a.m. at the Capitol courtyard to call on lawmakers to address issues involving people with developmental disabilities. As an example, the groups are urging lawmakers to set aside $20 million to help reduce a waiting list for services.

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council holds a rally and press conference 11:30 a.m. at the back steps of the old Capitol to commemorate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day. The group will speak in support of Medicaid waiver waitlist funding and an increase provider funding.

In conjunction with the temporary exhibit Choosing to Participate: The Power of Civic Engagement, Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham will discuss Florida politics, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Historic Capitol Museum.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, will hold a town-hall meeting at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Tuesday, 7 p.m., at the Willie Miller Instructional Center, Gale Lemerand Auditorium, Daytona Beach Campus, 600 South Clyde Morris.

 

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.