Capitol Watch for Wednesday, March 17

Capitol Watch for Wednesday, March 17
Florida lawmakers began a 60-day session March 2. (Source: News Service of Florida)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - Florida Senate and House committees will be taking up the following bills on Wednesday, March 17:

TELEMEDICINE FOR FIDO: The Senate Agriculture Committee will take up a bill (SB 1370), filed by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-Doral, that would allow veterinarians to use telemedicine to treat animals. (9 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

JUNETEENTH DAY DISCUSSED: The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee will consider a proposal (SB 490), filed by Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Ocoee, that would designate Juneteenth Day, or June 19, as a paid holiday for state workers. Juneteenth Day commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. (9 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

HOSPITAL WORKER ASSAULTS TARGETED: The Senate Health Policy Committee will take up a bill (SB 614), filed by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-Doral, that would lead to increased criminal penalties for committing assault or battery against people who work at hospitals. (9 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

TADDEO CALLS FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION: Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, is slated to take part in an online news conference to call for expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Florida. The news conference will be held by the Health Care for Florida coalition. (9 a.m. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpdO6hqT8pHdFayGgn7j0dt5LA_Pc1iWY6)

CONSTITUTION PANEL TARGETED: The House Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HJR 1179), filed by Rep. Mike Beltran, R-Lithia, that would abolish the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years and has the power to propose constitutional amendments. (9:30 a.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

HONOR FLIGHT PLATE PROPOSED: The House Infrastructure & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 451), filed by Rep. Brett Hage, R-Oxford, that would create an Honor Flight specialty license plate. (9:30 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

PROPERTY INSURANCE AT ISSUE: The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 305), filed by Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, that would make a series of changes to property-insurance laws, including allowing insurers to limit coverage for roof damage. (9:30 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

PRE-GAME PRAYERS ON AGENDA: The House Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 1027), sponsored by Rep. Webster Barnaby, R-Deltona, and Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, that would require the Florida High School Athletic Association to allow schools to have access to public-address systems before sports competitions. The proposal comes amid a long-running legal fight about a decision by the association to bar a Christian school from offering a pre-game prayer over a public-address system before a football championship game. (9:30 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

FRIED, LAWMAKERS DISCUSS CLIMATE CHANGE: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, and Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, will take part in a news conference to discuss energy and climate-change legislation. (11:30 a.m., outside Fried’s office, plaza level, the Capitol.)

AHCA SECRETARY UP FOR CONFIRMATION: The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a confirmation hearing for Simone Marstiller, who was recently appointed as secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration after serving as secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice. (12:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

‘VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM’ DAY PROPOSED: The House Government Operations Subcommittee will consider a bill (HB 1553), filed by Rep. David Borrero, R-Sweetwater, and Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, that would designate Nov. 7 each year as “Victims of Communism Day.” (1 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

LITERACY IMPROVEMENT SOUGHT: The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 7011), sponsored by Rep. Vance Aloupis, R-Miami,  that would take a series of steps to try to identify and help students who have deficiencies in reading. (1 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

SOLID WASTE COMPANIES AT ISSUE: The House Regulatory Reform Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 331), filed by Rep. Lawrence McClure, R-Dover, that would toughen requirements on local governments that decide to provide waste-disposal services instead of continuing to contract it out to private companies. (1 p.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

NURSING HOME WORKERS AT ISSUE: The House Finance & Facilities Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 485), filed by Rep. Sam Garrison, R-Fleming Island, that is designed to lead to training and employing “personal care assistants” in nursing homes. (1:30 p.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

BROWN, DAVIS GO BEFORE COMMITTEE: The Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee will hold confirmation hearings for Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Julie Brown and Lottery Secretary John Davis. (3 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

MENTAL ILLNESS TRAINING PROPOSED: The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a bill (SB 1192), filed by Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, that would require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to develop a mental-illness component of training that law officers take to retain their certification. (3 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

CIVIC EDUCATION EYED: The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (SB 1450), filed by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-Doral, that addresses a civic education curriculum for public schools. (3 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

FOREIGN INFLUENCE TARGETED: The House Education & Employment Committee will take up a bill (HB 7017), filed by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, that would take a series of steps aimed at curbing foreign influence in Florida colleges and universities and other agencies. (3:45 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

GUNS AT CHURCHES ON AGENDA: The House Judiciary Committee will consider a proposal (HB 259), filed by Rep. Jayer Williamson, R-Pace, and Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, that would expand the authority of people with concealed-weapons licenses to bring guns on property owned, rented or used by churches, synagogues or other religious institutions. Florida law generally allows people to carry concealed weapons at religious institutions, but it bars being armed on school properties. That can prevent gun owners from bringing firearms to churches that share properties with schools. The bill is designed to address that issue. (3:45 p.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

VETERANS’ MENTAL HEALTH AT ISSUE: The House State Affairs Committee will consider a bill (HB 231), filed by Rep. Ardian Zika, R-Land O’ Lakes, that would authorize a program to provide referral services to veterans and their family members for assistance with mental health and substance abuse issues. (3:45 p.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

TOMKOW TAKES PART IN FIT EVENT: Rep. Josie Tomkow, R-Polk City, is expected to take part in an online event hosted by the group Florida Internet & Television. The event is about digital access for unserved and rural communities. (4:30 p.m. Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3569193278211303693?utm_source=List+Updated+9%2F22%2F17&utm_campaign=9cf46ea3a1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_09_27_09_55_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_031e8e6f0f-9cf46ea3a1-42606053&ct=t(Y)&mc_cid=9cf46ea3a1&mc_eid=480c2ad9ba)

Also:

BOARD OF ED MEETS: The State Board of Education will meet. (9 a.m., Tallahassee Community College, student union ballroom, 444 Appleyard Dr., Tallahassee.)

CITRUS ISSUES ON MENU: The Florida Citrus Commission will hold an online meeting. (9 a.m. https://djeholdings.zoom.us/j/98200494506?pwd=dVZ0MFJoY3BLRHkvbzhQQ2cwUGlCZz09#success. Call-in numbers: 1-312-626-6799 or 1-646-558-8656. Meeting ID: 98200494506. Passcode: 919836)

PAROLE CASES CONSIDERED: The Florida Commission on Offender Review will meet. (9 a.m. Call-in number: 1-877–309–2073. Code: 337350165)

LOTTERY REVENUES ON TABLE: The Revenue Estimating Conference will analyze issues related to the Florida Lottery. (9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

DEFENSE ALLIANCE MEETS: The Florida Defense Alliance will hold an online meeting. (9 a.m. https://zoom.us/j/98180190394?pwd=UVhZcnBScG9NSXlM OFdGd0M2RTdGdz09. Meeting. ID: 98180190394. Passcode: 603356)

FEA CRITICIZES LEGISLATION: The Florida Education Association will hold a news conference to criticize a bill (SB 1014) that would make a series of changes related to education unions. (11:45 a.m., outside of the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, 505 West Pensacola St., Tallahassee.)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ON AGENDA: The Criminal Justice Estimating Conference will analyze issues related to the criminal justice system. (1 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

DEVELOPMENT FINANCE BOARD MEETS: The Florida Development Finance Corp. Board of Directors will meet. (2 p.m., Florida Development Finance Corp., 156 Tuskawilla Road, Suite 2340, Winter Springs. Call-in number: 1-646-741-5292, Meeting ID: 1115290332) '

SPACE ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Space Florida Board of Directors will meet. (4 p.m. Call-in number: 1-866-528-2256. Code: 4875556)

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