With clock winding down, lawmakers will pick up pace today (maybe)

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As the legislative clock winds down and lawmakers wait the constitutionally mandated 72 hours before they can wait on the 2014-2015 budget, they will decide the fate of dozens of bills.

The House could vote on a number of issues, including pharmacy audit “Bill Of Rights,” fraudulent ticket sales and mandating public schools teach about the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Among the Senate agenda is revamping the state retirement system and allowing concealed weapons carry during emergency evacuations and the process for sports facilities to ask for state money, which includes the controversial amendment that would withhold funds from Major League Baseball facilities until the league changes its policy on Cuban ballplayers. Also on the agenda is a bill increasing oversight on “compounding” pharmacies.

9 a.m.:

The Senate Democratic caucus will hold a meeting in Room 200 at the Senate Office Building.

The House will hold a floor session for much of the day. Among the issues that could be decided today: SB 702, establishing a pharmacy audit “Bill Of Rights,” SB 1142, concerning additional penalties for fraudulent ticket sales; HB 279, which requires public schools to provide instruction to students about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

10 a.m.:

The Senate will take up numerous bills, including a proposal (SB 1114), sponsored by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, that would make changes to the Florida Retirement System. House Speaker Will Weatherford has made a priority of revamping the system to move employees away from traditional pensions and into 401(k)-style investment plans. Also, the Senate is expected to consider a bill (SB 296), sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, which would address the carrying of concealed weapons during states of emergency. Under the bill, people who can lawfully own firearms would be able to take them during emergencies, regardless of whether they have concealed-weapon licenses. They may also take up a 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.

Elsewhere in Florida:

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments in four cases beginning 9 a.m. at, 500 South Duval St. in Tallahassee. One case is a long-running tax battle between counties and the online-travel industry. Attorneys for 17 counties are asking the Supreme Court to overturn a 1st District Court of Appeal ruling in favor of online-travel companies such as Expedia and Orbitz. The dispute centers on whether the online-travel companies should pay tourist-development taxes on the full amounts they collect from customers, or only on the parts that go to room rentals. The companies contend the amounts that do not pay for room rentals are service charges, which are not subject to the hotel bed tax. The 17 counties involved in the case are Alachua, Charlotte, Escambia, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Nassau, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, St. Johns, Seminole, Wakulla and Walton. Also, the Supreme Court will allow attorneys for Broward, Osceola and Volusia counties and the Volusia County School Board to make brief arguments. Those government bodies have been involved in other litigation with the online-travel companies about the tax issue.

The Florida Parole Commission will consider numerous cases involving crimes committed in the 1970s and 1980s beginning at 9 a.m., 4070 Esplanade Way in Tallahassee.

The Florida Board of Medicine will hold a conference call at noon to discuss standards for telemedicine practice. (Call-in number: 1-888-670-3525. Code: 125-528-7056.)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich will speak at a 6 p.m. graduation ceremony for Florida Atlantic University graduate students. The event is at the FAU University Theater, 777 Glades Road in Boca Raton.

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.