Capitol Watch: Lawmakers eye police standards, ‘Right-to-farm’ bill

Capitol Watch: Lawmakers eye police standards, ‘Right-to-farm’ bill
(Source: News Service of Florida)

TALLAHASSEE (News Service of Florida) - Here’s what’s on tap in the Capitol today.


SENATE DEMOCRATS MEET: The Senate Democratic caucus will meet to discuss issues in advance of a floor session. (9 a.m., 228 Senate Office Building. Public access at 2MXpBWTBwdz09. Meeting ID: 9165394846. Passcode: 410275)

SENATE TAKES UP POLICE STANDARDS BILL: The Senate will take up numerous issues during a floor session, including a proposal (HB 7051) that would require new training standards for law-enforcement officers. The legislation is a response to the nationwide debate on policing practices after the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer in May. (10 a.m., Senate chamber, the Capitol.)

HOUSE TAKES UP RETURNING BILLS: The House will hold a floor session and take up bills that have bounced back from the Senate as lawmakers try to reach agreements on the issues. (Noon,  House chamber, the Capitol.)

DEADLINE FOR ‘RIGHT TO FARM’ BILL: Gov. Ron DeSantis faces a Thursday deadline to take action on a bill that would expand legal protections for farmers. The bill (SB 88), a top priority of Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, would expand the state’s “Right to Farm” law. The Right to Farm law was initially approved in 1979 and helps shield farmers from what are known as nuisance lawsuits. The bill would expand those protections, in part by prohibiting nuisance lawsuits filed by people who do not own property within one-half mile of the alleged violations. Critics have argued that the bill would  limit lawsuits over the potential health impacts of burning sugar cane.


TRANSGENDER ATHLETE BAN CRITICIZED: Representatives of several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the Florida Council of Churches, the Florida Coalition for Transgender Liberation and the Southern Poverty Law Center, will hold an online news conference to criticize a newly passed bill that would ban transgender females from participating in girls’ high-school and women’s college athletic teams. (9:30 a.m. Meeting ID: 85613060292. Passcode: 906829)

ALZHEIMER’S ISSUES DISCUSSED: The state Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee will hold an online meeting. (10 a.m. A4S1I2MjZrbWxRRzhsdz09. ID: 87050065388. Passcode: 656678)

SUPREME COURT RELEASES OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions. (11 a.m.)

DEMOCRATS TOUT BIDEN WORK: The Florida Democratic Party will hold an online news conference to discuss President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office. Participants are expected to include party Chairman Manny Diaz and U.S. House members Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto and Frederica Wilson. (11:30 a.m.)

ENERGY BILLS CRITICIZED: Representatives of groups such as Food & Water Watch and For Our Future Florida will hold an online news conference to criticize energy “preemption” bills approved by the Legislature. (Noon. Register at

FRIED GETS VACCINATED: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will get her second dose of COVID-19 and hold a media availability. (1:30 p.m. Florida A&M University, Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center, 1800 Wahnish Way, Tallahassee.)

HEMP ISSUES ON AGENDA: Holly Bell, director of cannabis at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, will take part in a conference call to discuss issues in the hemp industry. (3 p.m. Call-in number: 850-391-8548. Code: 42935012)

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