What's on tap in the Capital for Thursday, March 31

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Here is a compilation of what? on tap in the Florida Capital based on reports fromthe St. Petersburg Times, the News Service of Florida and LobbyTools.

HOUSE IN SESSION: The House is in session from 3 pm to 6 p.m. this afternoon with its main order of business the massive plan to overhaul the Medicaid system, shifting most patients into private manage care plans. The experiment, begun in some counties a few years ago, would help the state save money and backers say it will improve care. It? likely to be the most far reaching health care legislation to pass in the state in years. (3 p.m., House Chamber.)

SENATE BUDGET MARATHON: With the House? budget committee having met more than 10 hours on Wednesday to ready a spending plan and take up other conforming legislation, today it? the Senate Budget Committee that will hold a marathon meeting. The committee meets from 9 a.m. ?6 p.m., though at least Senate rules, unlike the House, don? allow for the committee to extend long into the night. The general appropriations act (SPB 7084) and all of the conforming bills are before the committee, including bills containing the proposed changes to the retirement system, health benefits for state workers, The panel also has a full list of other bills with fiscal impacts before it. (9 a.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.)


WATER POLICY: The House Select Committee on Water Policy considers a proposed committee bill on the fiscal management of water districts. (PCB SCWP 11-01.) (9:30 a.m., 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

HOUSE JUDICIARY MULLS DRUG SCREENING FOR ASSISTANCE: The House Judiciary Committee takes up the proposal to require drug testing for people seeking state assistance (HB 353.) The committee has several other bills before it, including the one below. (12 p.m., 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

MAKE LAW, NOT WAR: There remains on the books an 1868 statute which makes it a third degree felony for ?wo or more persons to combine to levy war against any part of a people of this state, or to remove them forcibly out of this state, to remove them from their habitations to any other part of the state by force, or assemble for such purposes.?That was comforting in the years after the Civil War, but these days police say it? just not one of the big problems they face. In fact, in at least the last decade, there have been no arrests under the statute. A bill (HB 7139) before the House Judiciary Committee today by Rep. James Grant, repeals the statute. (12 p.m., 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

911 CALLS: Legislation (HB 1435) before the House State Affairs Committee would prohibit the publishing or broadcasting of any 911 calls made by a minor and require that anyone broadcasting any other 911 calls obscure the voices of everyone on the call, including the operator. The bill is opposed by open government advocates who say it could prevent incompetence from coming to light. The committee has several other measures on its agenda, including a repeal (HB 1479) of a law that was set to go into effect banning the disposal of septic tank sewage by spraying it on crop land and a proposed committee bill dealing with school nutrition programs. (12 p.m., 17 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

LOCAL BILLS IN ECON AFFAIRS: Most of the measures in House Economic Affairs today are local bills, though there are some with statewide impact. One of those (HB 7181) would repeal a statutory correlation between storm mitigation discounts, credits and rate differentials and the Uniform Home Grading Scale, and a bill that would allow for burial vaults to be built at Daytona International Speedway and Homestead Miami Speedway. That bill (HB 1115) won? likely get a victory lap ?a Senate version crashed in a committee on Wednesday. (12 p.m., 102 House Office Building, The Capitol.)


LEGISLATIVE PRAYER BREAKFAST: Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott attend the legislative prayer breakfast. (7 a.m., Old Capitol Senate Chambers, The Capitol.)


SPECIAL OLYMPICS TORCH RUN: Gov. Rick Scott, First Lady Ann Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will attend the Special Olympics Torch Run Ceremony. Scott will participate in the run and pass the torch to a designated Special Olympics athlete. (10 a.m., Starting at Publix, 1700 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee, ending at the Capitol.)


SUPREME COURT: The Supreme Court releases regular opinions. (11 a.m.)

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.