Capitol Buzz: 5 things to watch today in Tallahassee
With one week left in the 2013 session, here's what's on tap today:
- Whether Floridia drivers will save about $12 on annual automobile registrations could be determined when the House Appropriations Committee takes up SB 1832 at 8 a.m. It passed the Senate, but the House needs to take it up and has -- thanks to Speaker Will Weatherford. He called today's special meeting after Sen. Joe Negron, the Senate's appropriation chair, requested it. Negron has been making the hard sell the last couple of days. It would eliminate a 1987 tax break on insurance companies, saving the state about $250 million a year.
- In the Senate, a bill that would revamp special education (SB 1108) is up for the first time on the Senate floor. The proposal would give parents the final say in determining their child's individualized education program. It would also enable parents to send private therapists to school with their children.
- The House will finally vote on CorcoranCare, HB 7169, but without an amendment by Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, that was defeated Thursday after hours of debate. That means the House plan will cover about 131,000 uninsured Floridians, far short of the Senate plan that covers 1 million. How to bridge the gap? That's to be determined over the next week.
- At 11:30 a.m., a rally will be held at the Capitol to encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto SB 718, which landed at his desk this week after passing both chambers. It would end permanent alimony and eliminates any alimony for people married less than 11 years. This would drastically alter the state's alimony landscape, considering that the average length of marriages that end in divorce is less than 10.5 years. Would a veto help Scott poll better with women voters, who support him less than men? Those organizing the rally, the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, will be there to convince Scott it'll be a good idea.
- And lawmakers will continue to haggle over the budget. Will they wrap up negotiations, or will meetings spill into the weekend? We'll know later today.