This week the Florida Legislature returns to interim committee meetings.
Among some of the highlights:
Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland) will present Senate Bill 146 – the Anti-Murder Bill – to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee . If you recall, Governor Charlie Crist indicated he would “sign no bill” until that Anti-Murder bill was put on his desk. Well, he already broke that campaign promise by signing the insurance legislation – but this is the first step for that bill.
Wednesday morning, the Senate Education Pre K-12 Committee will hear Senate Bill 388 by Sen. Frederica Wilson (D-Miami). This bill removes the letter grades from the school grading systems. Teachers will like this, as there will be no more “A” or “B” schools, instead the descriptive labels (eg. “School making above average progress”) will remain.
Later that afternoon, the House Agribusiness Committee will hear House Bill 33 by Rep. Stan Jordan (R-Jacksonville). This bill will make it illegal to make automated political calls to people on the federal or state “no call” lists. You may know that charities and political groups are exempt from the ban on calls to “no call” list subscribers.
The Senate Community Affairs Committee will hear two presentations on property taxes – the first from the Florida Department of Revenue, the second from the Property Tax Reform Committee. Thursday mornng, the Senate Finance and Tax Committee will take public testimony on property taxes. Remember, the Senate will be taking public testimony in Tampa on Thursday, February 15, at the HCC Dale Mabry Campus (from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in the Student Services Building Auditorium).
The House Ethics & Elections Committee will be debating House Bill 537 by Rep. David Rivera, which would move the Florida presidential preference primary to the first Tuesday in February or the first Tuesday after the New Hampshire primary, which ever comes first. A lot of stories have been printed about this, and I will be blogging about it later this week.
There are other bills being heard, but most of the committees are still holding issued-based workshops or presentations from agencies and departments.