What's on tap in the Capital for Wednesday, March 30

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

TOPPING THE DAY

HOUSE BUDGET: The House Appropriations Committee takes up the chamber? proposed budget today in what is expected to be an all day affair. Chairman Denise Grimsley has scheduled 10 hours for considering the budget bill and various conforming and implementing bills. The panel has a long list of other bills with fiscal impacts before it as well and the committee has warned that public testimony may be limited today because of the length of the agenda. One of the related measures (HB 1405) is the proposal to change the rules for the retirement system for state workers, having them pay into their pension plan. The panel also will consider the big professions deregulation effort in the House (HB 5005), a business-backed proposal to end state regulation of several professions. The fight over a few ?particularly interior designers ?has been heated. A list of bills in the committee is at: http://flhouse.gov/Sections/Committees/meetingnotice.aspx?MeetingId=8377.
(10 a.m., 212 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

HOUSE

PILL MILL BILL IN HOUSE JUDICIARY: The pill mill debate continues today when the House Judiciary Committee will take up a bill (HB 7095) that would revamp existing regulations. Parts of that bill would seek to ban doctors from dispensing drugs in their offices — a move that House leaders say would cut off the problem of clinics acting as drug suppliers. Florida has become a magnet in recent years for drug abusers and traffickers from other states, as unscrupulous clinics and doctors have prescribed and sold massive amounts of drugs such as Oxycontin. Also, minors who “sext” ?send sexual photos by test messaging: would face lesser penalties under a measure. Under current law, a minor caught transmitting sexual photos of another minor faces a felony conviction and registration as a sex offender. Under this bill (HB 75), minors would face small fines and would not have to register as a sex offender, though the penalties would escalate with repeat offenders. The panel also takes up legislation related to domestic violence injunctions (HB 563), The panel also considers a bill that repeals a law requiring companies whose employees stand or walk during their duties to provide seats for those employees when not engaged in their active work. The measure (HB 7131) also repeals law that requires employers to permit some workers to use seats. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says there have been no arrests for violating this law since 2000. (8 a.m.,. 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

INSURANCE AND BANKING: House proposals on property insurance, including a general residential property insurance measure (HB 885) and a closely-watched bill aimed at shrinking Citizens Property Insurance (HB 1243) are before House Insurance today, among several other issues. (10 a.m., 404 House Office Building.)

HOUSE FINANCE AND TAX: A proposed constitutional amendment limiting the increase in nonhomestead value and making other property tax changes (HJR 381) leads a list of proposals before House F&T today. Another measure deals with oil spill economic recovery (HB 1309) and the proposal to change the way the state? revenue limitation is calculated (PCB FTC 11-02.) (2:15 p.m., 17 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

SENATE

SENATE IN SESSION: The Senate is in session this morning from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The calendar will include some growth management bills (HB 7001, SB 410, HB 93) a bill that repeals the ban on coasting downhill in neutral in a car (HB 4019), affordable housing (HB 7003) juvenile justice (SB 618) and blood establishments (SB 94) all on third reading. (10 a.m., Senate Chamber.)

SENATE HEALTH REG: The Senate Health Regulation Committee takes up a wide-ranging health care bill that, perhaps most importantly, provides for the state’s withdrawal from Medicaid under certain circumstances (SB 1972). The panel also takes up a medical malpractice bill (SB 1590) dealing with expert witness rules. (8 a.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

SENATE COMMITTEE TAKES UP CHARTER SCHOOL BILL: The Senate Pre-K-12 Committee gets a first glimpse at SB 1546, a wide-ranging bill that makes it easier for universities and community colleges to open charter schools and allows charter schools rated as highly performing to add grades or expand enrollment more easily. Sponsored by Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, the bill is similar to a House proposed committee bill (KINS 11-03). Charter school expansion is supported by the Republican-dominated Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott. (1:30 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

SENATE ENVIRONMENTAL PRESERVATION: The Senate Environmental Preservation Committee’s agenda includes bills allowing wounded warrior hunting areas (SB 850) and several measures related to environmental and land permitting (SB 1404, SB 1514). The panel also considers the confirmation of George Roberts to the governing board of the Northwest Florida Water Management District. (1:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building.)

GOVERNMENTAL OVERSIGHT: The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee has a long agenda that includes a bill (SB 666) that sets up a state Department of Gaming Control, and an ethics bill by Sen. Paula Dockery (SB 86) that prohibits lawmakers from voting on legislation inuring to their own personal gain or loss or that of a relative, businesss associate, employer or others. (3:45 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

TITSHAW CONFIRMATION: Florida National Guard Adjutant General Emmett Titshaw goes before a confirmation hearing today in the Senate Military Affairs Committee. No opposition to his confirmation is expected. The panel also takes up a measure (SB 1650) related to time-sharing and parental responsibility orders by courts in cases where a parent is deployed in the military. Another measure (SB 1230) directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a financial analysis and a plan for possible privatization of the state? veterans?homes. (3:45 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

OTHER LEGISLATIVE EVENTS

ETHICS LEGISLATION: Sen. Paula Dockery R-Lakeland, Sen. Mike Fasano R-New Port Richey and Rep. Fred Costello R-Ormond Beach will hold a news conference today on proposed ethics legislation. (10 a.m., 301 Capitol.)

FLORIDA-KOREA TRADE: Korean Ambassador to the United States Han Duk-soo and Leslie Schweitzer, senior trade advisor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, join Rep. Lake Ray, R-Jacksonville for a media availability on the benefits of the Korea Free Trade Agreement to Florida businesses. (9:30 a.m., 333 Capitol.)
SCOTT

FLORIDA HOUSE FOUNDATION: Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott will host the Florida House Chairman? reception at the Governor? Mansion in Tallahassee. The Florida House Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides cultural, social, educational and economic resources; showcases Florida’s culture and diversity; maintains and operates Florida House, Florida’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. (6 p.m., Governor? Mansion, 700 N. Adams St., Tallahassee.)

US-UK AEROSPACE TRADE TALKS:Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll will participate in the United States-United Kingdom Aerospace Trade Mission today in Cocoa Beach. (2:30 p.m., Horizons Conference Room, Cocoa Beach Hilton, 1550 North Atlantic University. Cocoa Beach.)

FLORIDA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INTERNATIONAL DAYS: Gov. Rick Scott attends the Florida Chamber of Commerce International Days Conference. (8:30 a.m., Florida State University Conference Center, 555 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee.)

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.