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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Capitol Buzz: 5 things to watch today in Tallahassee



Political junkies will find plenty of fodder from today’s legislative agenda, which tackles issues from gun rights to pension reform, to keep them talking all weekend. Here are five things to watch:

  • The House is in session. Republicans are expected to pass a bill that would close the state pension system to new employees, HB 7011, as well as a ban on Internet sweepstakes cafés, HB 155.
  • Expect a lively House education committee meeting as the so-called parent-trigger bill, HB 867, is up for debate. The controversial bill, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, enables parents to petition for dramatic changes, including the conversion of a public school to a charter school.
  • An Omega Omega sorority service for former state Sen. Larcenia J. Bullard, D-Miami, who died Saturday, is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Church of the Ascension, 11201 SW 160th St., in Miami. It will be followed by a litany service at 7 p.m. At 11 a.m. Saturday, a funeral service will be held at the South Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211th St.
  • While there have been more than two dozen gun control bills filed in the Florida Legislature this year, HMl 545, which comes up in the Local & Federal Affairs Committee, sends a message to the federal government that any gun control measure violates the right of the people of Florida to keep and bear arms. The bill, sponsored by Neil Combee, R-Polk City, has more than 50 co-sponsors.
  • A 2011 executive order from Gov. Rick Scott allowing suspicionless drug testing for all state workers goes before a federal judge in Miami Friday. Challengers of the program filed a lawsuit saying it violates the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on improper search and seizure.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 5:14pm]


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