Capitol Buzz: Five things to watch today in Tallahassee
The Florida Legislature has another issue-packed day scheduled Wednesday as the House continues in marathon session and the Senate moves through a line-up of high-profile bills. Here are five things to watch:
* Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith could be in his final months in the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall if the House votes out SB 310 as expected. Each state is allowed two statues in the hall and the bill would start the process of replacing Smith with an more modern icon of Florida history. The House version, HB 141, is by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami.
* The House is also expected to approved HB 1325 to overhaul the way the state manages the incentive money handed out by the state's economic-development arm, Enterprise Florida. The measure would limit the governor to grants of $2 million each and receive approval for amounts higher than that. The governor is seeking $250 million in incentive funds but neither the House nor Senate have agreed to it.
* The Senate will take a final vote on a bill (SB 468) to allow high school students to take computer-coding courses to satisfy two credits of foreign-language requirements beginning in the 2018-19 school year. The Senate amended the bill to remove a requirement that schools offer the option and added a provision that allows the courses to be offered through the Florida Virtual School.
* The Department of Correction's decision to provide a no-bid contract to Centurion of Florida to replace Corizon Healthcare as the medical provider in Florida's prisons will come under scrutiny by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Civil and Criminal Justice. The meeting is at 1:30 p.m.
* The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government will take up a priority bill for the Department of Environmental Protection (SB 1290) by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, that would give the agency more flexibility in the way it manages state parks and preserves. A similar bill in the House (HB 1075) was amended to appease environmental critics but the changes have not yet been adopted by the Senate.