Capitol Buzz: 5 things to watch today in Tallahassee
Conceding that legislative session is basically a charade and that all the major bills and budget decisions have already been made behind closed doors, House and Senate leaders will make the motion to adjourn sine die today.
April Fool’s. Here’s what’s really going on.
- The Capitol will be awash in garnet and gold as FSU Day takes hold. The Senate will consider one resolution honoring the university, and two for the football team and its national championship, with one specifically singling out Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston.
- At 8:30 a.m., the House Education Appropriations subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 921) by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, that would give local school boards greater power over the state in selecting instructional manuals.
- During its 1 p.m. floor session, the Senate is expected to vote on the so-called “warning shot” bill, SB 448, by Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, that expands the state’s “stand your ground” protections to include cases involving the threatened use of force, such as the firing of a warning shot. A similar bill has already passed the House. Another bill, SB 1188, would allow the next governor to pack the Florida Supreme Court by appointing the successors to three justices, even though they retire on the same day the governor’s term ends, on Jan. 8, 2019.
- The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on SB 1400, the immigrant tuition bill, at its 9 a.m. meeting. The bill would allow some undocumented students to pay in-state rates at Florida colleges and universities. A similar bill has already passed the House.
- The Senate’s Military and Veterans affairs committee will consider SB 296 that would waive criminal penalties for those carrying a concealed weapon or firearm without the proper permit during a mandatory evacuation order during a declared state of emergency.