In what may be the last committee meeting of the Session, the House Policy & Budget Council will hear a few interesting bills. HB 191 by Rep. Charlie Dean would allow “instant bingo” tickets. HB 213 by Rep. Dorothy Hukill proposes a couple of changes to Florida’s elections: all elections will be by optical scan system and cities and counties can hold elections entirely by mail.
The Council will also hear several gambling bills: HB 223 by Rep. Ed Bullard would allow parimutuel cardrooms to offer gambling on dominoes. HJR 471 by Rep. Julio Robaina would propose an amendment to the Florida Constitution to allow any county to hold a referendum to authorize full gaming within the county, at hotels or casinos with at least 250 rooms for overnight patrons. HB 1047 by Rep. Jack Seiler makes revisions to the implementing legislation for the Section 23 of Article X, which allows slot machines in Broward County. Finally, HB 1377 by Rep. Tee Holloway revises the regulations for cardrooms, including allowing tournaments.
On 3rd reading today are a handful of bills, including HB SB 1456by Sen. Dan Webster, which creates the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday from August 4 through August 13, 2007; most books, clothing, and school supplies will be exempt from sales tax.
Among the many bills on today’s Special Order Calendar are:
HB 465 by Rep. John Legg expands the corporate income tax credit scholarship program, which gives tax credits to companies who donate to private sector voucher programs, to also include children in foster care and in certain DJJ programs;
HB 7145 by Rep. Joe Pickens also revises the corporate income tax credit scholarship program, along with the McKay Scholarship program used by some exceptional students; and
HB 7161 by Rep. David Rivera designates February 6 of every year as Ronald Reagan Day in Florida.
The House will also consider the Local Bill Calendar today, where local bills filed by various legislative delegations across the state are considered in an expedited manner. The members vote one time on all bills – and its unanimous. In previous years, if a member objected to a bill that had been proposed for the Local Bill Calendar, that bill may be removed and placed on the calendar for consideration as its own bill. Also, members are usually allowed to submit in writing if they wish to vote differently on one bill than on all bills on the Local Bill Calendar.
The Senate will be in Session all day today.
Included in the bills on 3rd reading today are:
SB 464 by Sen. Gary Siplin designating January 6 of every year as Three Kings Day in Florida;
SB 506 by Sen. Mike Fasano creating the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority;
SB 1676 by Sen. Stephen Oelrich allowing law enforcement to drive golf carts on public streets;
SB 500 by Sen. Burt Saunders allowing instant bingo games; and
SB 1638 by Sen. Lee Constantine would ban gift cards and gift certificates from having an expiration date or charging a fee.
The Special Order Calendar includes SB 2196 by Sen. Alex Villalobos requiring all testimony before the Legislature to be conducted under oath; and two resolutions, SB 586 and SB 3022 both by Sen. Stephen Oelrichk, honoring the University of Florida Gators football and men’s basketball teams for winning national championships.