Sorry for the delay. Sometimes work gets in the way of blogging!!
This is the last week of the 2007 Legislative Session. As the end approaches, both the House and Senate will shift to “pocket calendars.” There will be more bills available in each chamber than either would have time to debate and pass, so the leadership picks a number, usually 10-15 at a time, that will be heard. As they approach the end of one pocket calendar, the next pocket calendar is released. This gives the members an idea which bills will be heard, but usually only with an hour or two of notice.
By rule, today is the last day any House Bill on second reading can be taken up via the Special Order Calendar. (NOTE: Rules can be waived by a two-thirds vote of the House).
There are 20 House Bills on third reading, including HB 7195 by Rep. Ray Sansom calls for holding a special election on November 6, 2007, with the property tax reform amendment on the ballot. The House will also be passing a number of Claims bills. Those Claims bills that have already passed the Senate are on the House Special Order Calendar.
Other bills on Special Order include:
SB 464 by Sen. Gary Siplin, designating my birthday (Jan 6) as “Three Kings Day” in Florida;
SB 506 by Sen. Mike Fasano, creating the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority;
SB 900 by Sen. Bill Posey, allowing voters to revoke a signature on a initiative petition;
SB 1638 by Sen. Lee Constantine, prohibiting gift cards and gift certificates sold in Florida from having an expiration date or charging a fee; and
SB 1710 by Sen. Steven Oelrich, allowing the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of South Florida to charge a differential tuition of up 30 to 40% more than the other eight universities, provided the total annual increase is less than 15% each year, and for the purpose of supporting undergraduate education;
One interesting claims bill that has already passed the Senate: SB 74 by Sen. Frederica Wilson, which provides $1.2 million to the parents of Brooke Ingoldsby, who was struck and killed by a car while attempting to cross the street after getting off her Pinellas County School Bus, and
There are 27 Bills on third reading in the Senate, four of which are the Senate tax reform bills that will remain on third reading. Most of the rest are noncontroversial social service and education bills. One interesting bill is SB 1864 by Sen. Bill Posey, expanding the hurricane mitigation grant program and naming it the “My Safe Florida Home Program”
Today’s Senate Special Order Calendar includes a number of bills, only one worth mentioning here: SB 2250 by Sen. Ted Deutch, which would require the State Board of Administration, the body that oversees how Florida’s tax money is invested, to divest from companies that do business with Iran. (The bill still allows investment in private equity funds which invest in prohibited companies, and other indirect holdings.)