Capitol Buzz: Five things to watch today in Tallahassee
Lawmakers introduce the first pieces of their budget packages and continue a heavy week of committee hearings this week. The Capitol Press Corps hosts its annual press skits on Tuesday at The Moon to lampoon politicians and raise money for journalism scholarships. The Senate will meet in session on Thursday and the House will convene on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here are five things to watch on Monday:
* The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will consider a bill to make abortions in Florida a first degree felony. The measure, HB 865 by Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, would likely face a legal challenge if enacted into law.
* The bill to ban local fracking bans continues its swift passage through the Legislature as the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government hears SB 318 by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples.
* Several bills aimed at changing the way the state relies on property taxes -- from requiring more disclosure to requiring a rollback when property values rise -- get hearings in the Senate Finance and Tax Committee.
* Discussion begin over how lawmakers will divide up the $79 billion budget in meetings of the Senate Appropriations subcommittees on criminal justice and economic development and transportation.
* A bill, SB 684, to allow student athletes to transfer schools and remain eligible to participate in sports will be up for a vote in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.