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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Capitol Buzz: Five things to watch today in Tallahassee



In the Capitol today, look for lawmakers to take up a controversial "fracking" bill, respond to the death penalty being thrown out in Florida and lay out a tax cut plan. Here's some of what we're watching:

* The Florida House will vote on a bill to regulate and permit "fracking" as a gas drilling method (HB 191). They'll also consider legislation to allow ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in Florida without intervention from local governments (HB 509). (3:30 p.m., House chamber)

* Committees in the Senate and House will consider a proposal by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, to regulate daily fantasy sports games (SB 892, HB 707). Among the questions before the Senate Regulated Industries Committee and House Finance and Tax Committee: Whether daily fantasy contests are games of chance or games of skill. The Senate committee will also have a workshop on the gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. (9 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building and noon, 17 House Office Building)

* Senators will discuss the state's response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Hurst vs. Florida, which threw out the death penalty until new sentencing rules can be passed. The Criminal Justice Committee workshop will include public defenders, state attorneys, death penalty lawyers, the Florida Bar and representatives of Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi. (3:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building)

* Scott's newly appointed Secretary of the Lottery Tom Delacenserie will face his first confirmation hearing in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee. He was appointed in November 2015 and served as interim secretary after Cynthia O'Connell resigned. (9 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building)

* House Finance and Tax Committee members will work on the chamber's tax cut package. Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said at the start of session that he plans to make $1 billion available for tax cuts, the same amount Scott has pitched, although how the House plans to divvy up cuts is not yet clear. (Noon, 17 House Office Building)


[Last modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 5:37pm]


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