What's on tap in the Florida Capital

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

CAR INSURANCE, CITIZENS LIMITS IN BANKING AND INSURANCE: Several measures dealing with auto insurance are in Senate B&I today, including Personal Injury Protection bills by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff (SB 1930) and Sen. Garrett Richter (SB 1694). The panel also takes up a bill (SB 1714) aimed at shrinking Citizens Property Insurance, the state? insurer of last resort. The bill would make homeowners ineligible for Citizens if they can get private insurance that? no more than 25 percent more expensive and in 2015 if they can get any private insurance at all, no matter how expensive. It also makes homes worth more than $1 million ineligible for Citizens coverage and shrinks that value over time. (1 p.m., 412 Knott Building.)

PSC OVERHAUL: The House Energy and Utilities Subcommittee will hear a sweeping bill dealing with the Public Service Commission. The proposed committee bill would make several changes to the PSC — including tightening rules against ex parte communications, allowing the attorney general to appoint the public counsel and implementing new education requirements for commissioners. Some of the changes are a response to a series of electronic messages sent among commissioners, their aides and utilities that spilled into the public beginning in 2009. (8 a.m., 212 Knott Building, The Capitol)

STATE FUNDING AND RELIGION: The House Civil Justice Subcommittee today takes up a proposed constitutional amendment spelling out that nobody could be denied state money based on religion. It would delete a section of the constitution that says no state money can go directly to aid any religious organization. (12 p.m., 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)


SENATE IN SESSION: Three bills that arose out of the effort to re-enact growth management legislation that is held up by the courts are on the Senate floor today. (10 a.m., Senate chamber.)

TELECOMM DE-REG AND DESTINATION RESORTS: A major rewrite of the telecommunications regulatory law is before the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee today. The measure essentially would finish the deregulation of basic phone service. The effort to ease the creation of ?estination resorts?that would allow gambling also continues in the Senate in SB 1708 and two companion bills that are all before the Commerce and Tourism Committee this afternoon. (1 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building.)

TIRE AGING BILL UP IN SENATE COMMITTEE: A bill to require greater disclosure from tire retailers on the age of “new” tires is also before Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee. The bill (SB 1482) requires tire retailers to disclose the date the tire was manufactured and warn them about the dangers of aged tires. Tires that were manufactured many years ago could put a driver at risk for blowouts, even if they have never been used before. This bill was filed last year, but never made it to either the Senate or House floor. (1 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

THE FINAL CHECKERED FLAG: Racing fans who want to spend eternity soaking up gas fumes and the roar of engines would be allowed to be buried at the Daytona International Speedway or Homestead Miami Speedway under a measure (SB 1096) allowing the facilities to construct a columbarium on either site for those who have reached their own checkered flag. The Regulated Industries Committee also takes up the confirmation of new Department of Lottery secretary Cynthia O’Connell and a measure( SB 854) to regulate the direct shipment of wine into the state.( 1 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

THE NEW BURMA SHAVE: The Senate Transportation Committee takes up a measure (SB 560) allowing the state to sell advertising space on state transportation property along the Florida Turnpike system, highways, and other state owned facilities. The committee also takes up four road designation bills and two measures to create new specialty license plates, one for corporations (SB 716) and another (SB 900) to honor recipients of the U.S. Army’s Combat Infantry Badge. (1 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

ELECTIONS, ETHICS AND CLAIMS BILLS: The Senate Rules Committee takes up SB 1504, which sets restrictions on petition gatherers and another (SB 1618) to send election violations to the Division of Administrative Hearings. Also on the agenda are several claims bills. (3:15 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

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.