Capitol Buzz: Five things to watch today in Tallahassee
Appropriations subcommittees will continue hearings as the state Legislature prepares to unveil draft budgets at the end of the week, and appointees of Gov. Rick Scott will face tough confirmation hearings.
Here are five things we're watching in the Florida Capitol today:
• Surgeon General John Armstrong is expected to face tough questioning about rising HIV infection rates, shrinking county health departments and the removal of 9,000 sick kids from the Children's Medical Services program as the Senate Health Policy Committee considers his confirmation. (9 a.m., 412 Knott)
• Senators on the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee will cast the first vote on Secretary of State Ken Detzner's confirmation after clashing with him last year over online voter registration. The committee will also consider a report on the Dozier School for Boys. (9 a.m., 401 Senate Office Building)
•The Florida House will take up amendments to a controversial bill (HB 191) by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, that would regulate and legalize fracking in advance of a final vote Wednesday. (2:30 p.m., House chamber)
• LGBT and religious rights activists could clash in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where lawmakers will hear legislation banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (SB 120) and allowing religious groups to refuse service to gay couples (SB 110). (1 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building)
• Lawmakers are bucking a trend toward more structured school days by proposing that recess be mandatory in Florida schools. HB 833, backed by schoolteacher Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando, will be considered by the House K-12 Education Subcommittee. (9 a.m., 17 House Office Building)