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Politics

What's Going on the Week of March 24

March 25, 2019 - 8:30am

Florida lawmakers might want to rest up.

With about a third of the 60-day legislative session finished, the coming week is going to be filled with some of the highest-profile --- and noisiest --- issues of the year.

Felons’ voting rights. Canadian drug imports. Fracking. Armed teachers. The list goes on.

And in the middle of the week, House and Senate appropriations committees are expected to take up proposed state budgets that are in the neighborhood of $90 billion.

MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2019

Legislature:

HEALTH SAVINGS SOUGHT: The House Ways & Means Committee will take up a bill (HB 1113), filed by Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, that would allow health insurers to create “shared savings” accounts. The proposal is designed to encourage insured people to shop for cheaper health services and be able to share the savings with insurers. (Monday, noon, Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

HEMP PROGRAM PITCHED: The Senate Agriculture Committee will take up a bill (SB 1020), filed by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, that would authorize the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to move forward with rules for a state hemp program. The proposal comes after a 2018 federal law legalized the industrial use of hemp. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

LAWSON GOES BEFORE SENATE PANEL: The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Ken Lawson, who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis as executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

AMENDMENT 4 AT ISSUE: The Senate Criminal Justice Committee will consider a proposal (SPB 7086) that would carry out a constitutional amendment designed to restore the voting rights of felons who have fulfilled their sentences. Voters approved the constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 4, in the November election. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

CANADIAN DRUG IMPORTS CONSIDERED: The Senate Health Policy Committee will take up a bill (SB 1528), filed by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, that would seek to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada for state programs such as Medicaid. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AT ISSUE: The House Civil Justice Subcommittee will take up a proposal (HJR 57), filed by Rep. Rick Roth, R-Loxahatchee, that would make it harder to pass constitutional amendments. Under the proposal, two-thirds of voters would have to approve amendments, up from the current 60 percent. (Monday, 3 p.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

DEATH BENEFITS DISCUSSED: The House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee will consider a bill (PCB OTM 19-18) that would carry out a constitutional amendment that requires paying death benefits to survivors of first responders and military members. The amendment was approved by voters in November. (Monday, 3 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

TEACHER PREPARATION CONSIDERED: The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a proposal (HB 7061), filed by Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, that would make changes to teacher-preparation and teacher-certification requirements. (Monday, 3 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

WORKERS’ COMP CHANGES SOUGHT: The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee will consider a proposal (SB 1636), filed by Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, that would revamp workers’ compensation insurance laws dealing with issues such as benefits and attorney fees. (Monday, 4 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

DCF CHIEF EYED IN SENATE: The Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Chad Poppell, who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis as secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families. (Monday, 4 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

DISTRACTED DRIVING TARGETED: The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a bill (SB 76), filed by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, that would toughen a law that bans texting while driving. The proposal would also ban talking on handheld cell phones while driving. Also, it would consider texting while driving and talking on handheld phones while driving as “primary” offenses --- meaning police could pull over motorists who are violating the law. (Monday, 4 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

FOSTER CARE CHANGES PROPOSED: The House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee will take up two bills (HB 823 and HB 1209), filed by Rep. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, and Rep. James Buchanan, R-Osprey, respectively, that would make changes in the state’s foster-care system. (Monday, 4 p.m., 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

SPECIAL ORDER SET: The Senate Special Order Calendar Group will set the special-order calendar, which lists bills that will be heard on the Senate floor. (Monday, 15 minutes after committee meetings, 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

Also:

SPACE FLORIDA FINANCES ON TABLE: The Space Florida Audit and Accountability Committee will hold a conference call to discuss interim financial numbers as of Dec. 31. (Monday, 10 a.m. Call-in number: 1-866-528-2256. Code: 4875556.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Brevard and Lee counties. (Monday, 11 a.m., Sunflower House Brevard, 777 East Merritt Island Causeway, Suite 201, Merritt Island. Also, 2 p.m., Johann Fust Community Boca Grande, 1040 West 10th St., #309, Boca Grande.)

CHILDREN’S ISSUES ON TABLE: The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet will meet. (Monday, 1 p.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.)

BENSE HONORED AT FSU: Former House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters during an event at Florida State University. Bense also is a former chairman of the Board of Trustees at FSU, his alma mater. The event is expected to include FSU President John Thrasher and former House Speaker Will Weatherford, who is Bense’s son-in-law. (4 p.m., Florida State University, Dodd Hall, 641 University Way, Tallahassee.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2019

Legislature:

HUMAN TRAFFICKING AT ISSUE: The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 851), filed by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, that would take steps to try to curb human trafficking. The bill includes requiring public-lodging managers and employees to be trained on how to recognize and report human trafficking to law enforcement. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM CONSIDERED: The House Health Quality Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 171), filed by Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, and Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando, that that could lead to needle-exchange programs in various areas of the state. The proposal would expand a Miami-Dade County pilot program aimed at helping prevent the spread of HIV and other diseases by intravenous drug users. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

EMPLOYMENT REGULATIONS TARGETED: The House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 847), filed by Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, that would prevent local governments from regulating employment issues such as job responsibilities and hours of work. The bill would “preempt” such regulatory authority, giving it to the state. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

‘FRACKING’ BAN CONSIDERED: The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee will take up bills (HB 7029 and SB 7064), filed by Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, and Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, aimed at prohibiting the controversial oil- and gas-drilling technique known as “fracking.” Environmentalists have raised concerns about the bills, which they say would leave open the possibility of a drilling technique that uses many of the same chemicals as fracking. (Tuesday, House subcommittee at 8:30 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol. Also, Senate committee at 1:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY ON AGENDA: The House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee will receive presentations on the development of alternative energy supplies in Florida. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 306 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

TRANSPORTATION CHANGES PROPOSED: The House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 905), filed by Rep. Alex Andrade, R-Pensacola, that would make changes to the Florida Department of Transportation, including establishing new qualifications for the secretary of transportation. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

BURGESS APPEARS IN SENATE: The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs and Space Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Danny Burgess, a former House member who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis as executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

HUMAN TRAFFICKING DISCUSSED: Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Palm City, will host a news conference to discuss a bill (HB 219) about victims of human trafficking. Several co-sponsors of the bill also are expected to take part in the news conference. (Tuesday, 11:15 a.m., fourth floor, the Capitol.)

HEMP PROGRAM CONSIDERED: The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 333), filed by Rep. Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, and Rep. Sam Killebrew, R-Winter Haven, that would create a hemp program at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and provide a regulatory framework for the hemp industry. (Tuesday, noon, 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

PLASTIC STRAWS DEBATED: The House Business & Professions Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 603), filed by Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, and Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, that would prevent cities and counties from regulating how restaurants and other establishments distribute plastic straws to customers. (Tuesday, noon, 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

DEREGULATION SOUGHT: The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 27), filed by Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, that would remove or revamp regulations on numerous types of professions. (Tuesday, noon, Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

SCOPE OF PRACTICE WEIGHED: The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 821), filed by Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, that would give advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants the ability to work independently of doctors. (Tuesday, noon, 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING TARGETED: The House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 107), filed by Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, and Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, that would make texting while driving a “primary” offense. The bill would allow police to pull over motorists for texting while driving. Currently, it is a “secondary” offense, meaning drivers can only be cited for texting behind the wheel if they are stopped for other reasons. (Tuesday, noon, Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

HELP PROPOSED FOR PANHANDLE DISTRICTS: The Senate Education Committee will consider a proposal (SB 520), filed by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, that would help provide additional money to Northwest Florida school districts that lost enrollment because students were displaced by Hurricane Michael. The bill would apply to Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington counties. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

PUBLIC COUNSEL TERMS AT ISSUE: The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee will take up a bill (SB 196), filed by Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, that would place limits on the terms of the state public counsel, who represents consumers in utility issues. The public counsel would be appointed to four-year terms, with a maximum of 12 consecutive years. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

NURSING HOME STAFFING DEBATED: The House Health Market Reform Subcommittee will consider a bill (HB 897), filed by Rep. Rick Roth, R-Loxahatchee, that would revamp staffing requirements for nursing homes. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., 306 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

HIGHER ED CHANGES ON TABLE: The House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a proposal (HB 839), filed by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, that would make a series of changes in the higher-education system, including requiring universities to survey faculty members and students about their personal viewpoints as a way to measure diversity of opinions on campuses. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

GENETIC TESTS TARGETED: The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee will consider a bill (HB 879), filed by Rep. Jayer Williamson, R-Pace, that would seek to block life-insurance companies from using genetic-test results in deciding whether to cancel, limit or deny coverage to customers. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

RETAIL THEFT ON AGENDA: The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee is slated to take up a bill (HB 589), filed by Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, that would revamp laws related to retail theft. Supporters, in part, want to raise legal thresholds for charges. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

FINANCIAL LITERACY SOUGHT: The House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 73), filed by Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand, and Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, that would require high-school students to earn a half credit in financial literacy. The bill is named after the late Sen. Dorothy Hukill, who championed the financial-literacy idea. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

COMMUNICATIONS TAXES, FEES CONSIDERED: The Senate Community Affairs Committee will consider a proposal (SB 1000), filed by Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, that would reduce the state’s communications-services tax and restrict the ability of local governments to collect fees from communications providers that use public roads or rights of way. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT EYED: The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee will take up a bill (SB 1502), filed by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, that would shift environmental law-enforcement responsibilities from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to the Department of Environmental Protection. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

AGENCY HEADS GET SENATE REVIEW: The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will hold confirmation hearings for Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears, Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Simone Marstiller, Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter and Secretary of State Laurel Lee. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

SCHOOL SAFETY SOUGHT: The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee will take up a school-safety bill that includes allowing trained classroom teachers to carry guns as school “guardians.” The bill (SPB 7030) is a follow-up to a safety law the Legislature passed last year after the mass shooting at Broward County’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

RURAL INVESTMENTS AT ISSUE: The House Workforce Development & Tourism Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 739), filed by Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, that would seek to spur investments in businesses in rural communities. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

Also:

ABORTION WAITING PERIOD ARGUED: A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments in a battle about the constitutionality of a 2015 state law that would require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions. The state took the case to the appeals court after a Leon County circuit judge blocked the law. A Gainesville abortion clinic challenged the law as a violation of privacy rights under the state Constitution. Supporters of the law have contended a waiting period would give women more time to make informed decisions before having abortions. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.)

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER BOARD MEETS: The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet in Hernando County. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Southwest Florida Water Management District, 2379 Broad St., Brooksville.)

‘SANCTUARY CITIES’ BILLS OPPOSED: Critics of legislation (SB 168 and HB 527) that seeks to ban so-called sanctuary cities will march to the Capitol and hold a news conference. The bills are aimed at forcing local governments to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. (Tuesday, march starts at 10 a.m. at Florida People’s Advocacy Center, 603 North Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tallahassee. News conference at 11 a.m., Capitol rotunda.)

FAU TRUSTEES MEET: The Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Campus, Administration Building, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton.)

FSU TRUSTEES HOLD CONFERENCE CALL: The Florida State University Board of Trustees will hold a meeting. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center, 555 West Pensacola St., Tallahassee)

DUKE UNVEILS SOLAR PLANT: Duke Energy Florida will hold a ribbon-cutting event for a new 74.9-megawatt solar power plant in Hamilton County. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Hamilton Solar Power Plant, 3974 S.W. 69th Dr., Jasper.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Miami-Dade, Leon, Bay and Gulf counties. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Carroll Manor Senior Center, 3667 South Miami Ave., Miami. Also, 10:30 a.m., Fort Braden Community Center, 16387 Blountstown Highway, Tallahassee. Also, noon, 2201 Recreation Dr., Lynn Haven. Also, 2 p.m., Honeyville Community Center, 240 Honeyville Park Dr., Wewahitchka.)

CITIZENS COMMITTEES MEET: Committees of the Citizens Property Insurance Board of Governors will meet in advance of a full board meeting Wednesday. The Market Accountability Advisory Committee, the Finance and Investment Committee and the Audit Committee will meet. (Tuesday, meetings start at 1 p.m., Sheraton Orlando North, 600 North Lake Destiny Dr., Maitland. Call-in number: 1-888-942-8686. Code: 9447106691.)

I-95 IMPROVEMENTS EYED: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a workshop in Palm Beach County on improvements planned for Interstate 95 in the area of the Northlake Boulevard interchange and along Northlake Boulevard. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Burns Road Recreation Center, 4404 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens.)

CRAPPIE MANAGEMENT: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will conclude a series of public meetings across the state seeking input on a draft plan involving the management of black crappie, a game fish commonly known as “speckled perch” or “specks.”  (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Lake Jackson Community Center, 3840 North Monroe St., Suite 301, Tallahassee.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 2019

Legislature:

STONE, MOODY, MOSKOWITZ AT COUNTIES EVENT: Rep. Charlie Stone, R-Ocala, Attorney General Ashley Moody and state Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz are expected to be among the speakers during the Florida Association of Counties legislative day. Speakers are also expected to include Jamal Sowell, chief executive of Enterprise Florida. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Challenger Learning Center, 200 South Duval St., Tallahassee.)

POWELL, MAYORS DISCUSS LEGISLATION: Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, Florida League of Mayors President Matthew Surrrency and other mayors will hold a news conference to discuss issues in the legislative session. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., fourth floor, the Capitol.)

HOUSE BUDGET MOVES FORWARD: The House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider an $89.9 billion budget proposal for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The House spending plan is smaller than a $91.3 billion proposal offered by Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

SENATE EYES BALLOT PROPOSALS: The Senate will hold a floor session and could approve a measure (SJR 74), filed by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, that seeks to prevent the Florida Constitution Revision Commission from “bundling” multiple issues into single constitutional amendments. The commission drew controversy last year when it put seven proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot, some of which included seemingly unrelated issues. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Senate chamber, the Capitol.)

SENATE BUDGET AT ISSUE: The Senate Appropriations Committee will take up a proposed $90.3 billion budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. After the committee gives approval, the proposed budget will go to the full Senate. House and Senate leaders will later negotiate a final spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

HOUSE LOOKS FOR HEALTH TRANSPARENCY: The House will hold a floor session and take up numerous bills, including a proposal (HB 319), filed by Rep. Michael Grant, R-Port Charlotte, that would seek to provide more information to patients about issues such as hospital infection rates and readmission rates. (Wednesday, 3 p.m., House chamber, the Capitol.)

SENATE SPECIAL ORDER SET: The Senate Special Order Calendar Group will set a special-order calendar, which lists bills that will be heard on the Senate floor. (Wednesday, 15 minutes after Appropriations Committee meeting, 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

Also:

CITIZENS BOARD MEETS: The Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Board of Governors will meet in Central Florida. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Sheraton Orlando North, 600 North Lake Destiny Dr., Maitland. Call-in number: 1-888-942-8686. Code: 9447106691.)

CABINET AIDES MEET: Aides to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis will meet to discuss issues in advance of an April 2 Cabinet meeting. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.)

UNEMPLOYMENT CASES CONSIDERED: The state Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission will meet. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., 101 Rhyne Building, 2740 Centerview Dr., Tallahassee.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Sumter, Miami-Dade, Polk and Collier counties. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Savannah Recreation Center, 1545 Buena Vista Blvd., The Villages. Also, 10:30 a.m., Stanley Axelrod UTD Towers, 1809 Brickell Ave., Miami. Also, noon, The Anthony DePalma Community Center, 395 Marigold Ave., Poinciana. Also, 1 p.m., Marco Island Library, 210 South Heathwood Dr., Marco Island.)

I-95 AT ISSUE: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a meeting in Miami-Dade County to discuss potential improvements to Interstate 95 from U.S. 1 to the Broward County line. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Miami Shores Recreation Complex, Community Center, 9617 Park Dr., Miami Shores.)

EVERGLADES FOUNDATION CHIEF SPEAKS: Erik Eikenberg, chief executive officer of the Everglades Foundation, is scheduled to speak to the Republican Club of the Palm Beaches. (Wednesday, noon, Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center-Palm Beach Airport, 1301 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.)

BOARD OF GOVERNORS COMMITTEES MEET: Committees of the state university system’s Board of Governors will meet in advance of a full board meeting Thursday. The committees are the Drugs, Alcohol and Mental Health Task Force Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Academic and Research Excellence Committee and the Facilities Committee. (Wednesday, meetings start at 1 p.m., Florida A&M University, Tallahassee.)

MEDICAID ISSUES ON TABLE: The Medical Care Advisory Committee, which reviews issues in the Medicaid system, will meet after holding subcommittee meetings. (Wednesday, subcommittees at 1 p.m., committee at 2 p.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee.)

RED MASS HELD: The Catholic Bishops of Florida will hold the annual Red Mass, a service that often is attended by lawmakers and other state leaders. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More, 900 West Tennessee St., Tallahassee.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019

Legislature:

SPECIAL ORDER SET: The Senate Special Order Calendar Group will set the special-order calendar, which lists bills that will be heard on the Senate floor. (Thursday, 15 minutes after Appropriations Committee meeting, 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

SENATE HOLDS FLOOR SESSION: The Senate is scheduled to hold a floor session. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Senate chamber, the Capitol.)

HOUSE HOLDS FLOOR SESSION: The House is scheduled to hold a floor session. (Thursday, 3 p.m., House chamber, the Capitol.)

OTHER SCHEDULED MEETINGS:

--- House Education Committee (Thursday, 8 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

--- House Health & Human Services Committee (Thursday, 8 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

--- House Judiciary Committee (Thursday, 8 a.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

--- Senate Appropriations Committee (Thursday, 9 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

--- House Commerce Committee (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

--- House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

--- House State Affairs Committee (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

--- House Rules Committee (Thursday, 15 minutes after the floor session, 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

Also:

BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETS: The state university system’s Board of Governors will meet after holding meetings of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, the Audit and Compliance Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee. (Thursday, committees start at 9 a.m., with full board estimated to start at 2 p.m., Florida A&M University, Tallahassee.)

GULF CONSORTIUM BOARD MEETS: The Gulf Consortium Board of Directors, which works on issues related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is scheduled to meet. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Hotel Duval, 415 North Monroe St., Tallahassee.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Bradford, Miami-Dade and Baker counties. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Bradford County Senior Center, 1805 North Temple Ave., Starke. Also, 10:30 a.m., St. Dominic, 5849 N.W. Seventh St., Miami. Also, 3 p.m., Baker County Commission conference room, 55 North Third St., Macclenny.)

APALACHEE PLANNING COUNCIL MEETS: The Apalachee Regional Planning Council will meet in Gadsden County. (Thursday, 10 a.m., UF IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, 155 Research Road, Quincy.)

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

NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER BOARD MEETS: The Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet in Franklin County. (Thursday, 1 p.m., Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, 108 Island Dr., Eastpoint.)

NORTH CENTRAL PLANNING COUNCIL MEETS: The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council will meet in Columbia County. (Thursday, 7 p.m., Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 213 S.W. Commerce Blvd., Lake City.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019

DEVELOPMENT FINANCE BOARD MEETS: The Florida Development Finance Corp. Board of Directors is scheduled to meet. (Friday, 9 a.m., Florida Development Finance Corp., 156 Tuskawilla Road, Suite 2340, Winter Springs. Also, call-in number: 1-646-741-5292. Code: 1126044986.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Orange, Miami-Dade and Highlands counties. (Friday, 10 a.m., Eatonville Neighborhood Center for Families, 323 East Kennedy Blvd., Suite D, Eatonville. Also, 10:30 a.m., Goodlet Park Senior Center, 900 West 44th Place, Hialeah. Also, 11 a.m., Avon Park Library, 100 North Museum Ave., Avon Park.)

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SANCTUARY CITIES: What a place to raise a family. Illegal aliens, gang members, felons fleeing ICE are your neighbors. Emergency services? Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers also pay for all hospital, emergency room treatments, ambulances, medications. Hospital wait times for citizens are negatively impacted. THE STAMPEDE: Its Trumps fault!!! LOL. Democrats offer rewards, incentives so.....More caravans on the way. The current migration at our border is costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don't stay in Mexico when they reach "safety" or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars. Notice how many have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country 8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not only pay for the birth of you're child but will also give you state government assistance. THE WALL: The Border Patrol, DHS, ICE our Military & the Army Corps of Engineers have all endorsed the need for a wall numerous times almost nightly. Barrack Obama’s own border patrol chief, Mark Morgan, has repeatedly stated that walls work. They free up resources to focus on the points of entrances so they can detect more contraband and illegals. Check out the wall on youtube. TPS / DACA To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) are permanent programs. There is nothing "temporary or deferred" about these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula works great. THE PRICE: Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable collateral damage to their future long range goals of flooding the country with refugees & illegal aliens and having taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat politicians and their voters have put families at risk of being victimized by illegal aliens as in the cases Kate Steinly (nothing done) then, Mollie Tibbetts, (nothing done) Police Cpl. Ronil Singh, (nothing done) now Bambi Larson; butchered in her home, nothing will be done...who's next? These victims would be alive today if our border was secured. Most of these killers have been deported numerous times. Bambi 's killers claimed "amnesty" to get in. Google search "illegal alien crime" or "victims." try not to puke the list is unbelievable. Preventable victimization's. Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has been passed on to us. *Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. School class size are negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result. *Taxpayers in some states are funding "in state college tuition" discounts for illegal aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually. *About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, & more than 90% of those are in the U.S illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate. *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal justice system. *Mexico received 33 billion last year in remittance. 120 billion total was sent out of the country in total remittance last year. *Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808, which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.) * Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens & their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for emergency housing. *Congress is debating DACA and is costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Thank the parents and Barrack Obama. *$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches. Visit youtube search "cost of illegal immigration."

Rep Roth is playing a disgusting game. Republicans have continually despised citizen initiatives. Examples. A2 and now A4. It's bad enough they routinely frustrate the will of voters. Now he wants to raise the percentage required to pass an Amendment. That's disgusting political partisanship. And as usual, lawmakers are doing their best to frustrate the will of voters by expanding the disenfranchisement of citizens instead of expanding the numbers of eligible voters. Every politician who votes to disenfranchise should be run out of town tar and feathered and strapped to a rail.

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