Capitol Buzz: Five things to watch today in Tallahassee
Thursday is live-or-die day for dozens of bill as the House and Senate schedule the some of the last committee meetings of the regular session. The Florida Senate's Appropriations Committee meets in a marathon session from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.while the House has loaded up seven committees with last-minute bills. Here are five things to watch:
* The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will answer senators questions as the Senate Appropriations Committee takes up SB 318 to block local governments from regulating fracking activities for oil and gas extraction.
* A measure to raise the jury standards in death penalty cases will also come before the Senate Appropriations Committee as Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, offers an amendment to require at least 10 jurors to recommend the death penalty and empower juries to decide whether defendants should die or be imprisoned for life without the chance for parole. The measure is a compromise that has already passed the full House.
* The Senate Appropriations Committee will also take up a slew of bills relating to education, health care and criminal justice.
* The House State Affairs Committee takes up HB 533 to create a task force that establishes a memorial for the Dozier School for Boys, the shuttered reform school in Marianna which is the site of bodies left in unmarked graves and the subject of multiple accounts of violence.
* Finally, the staff of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee will select lobbying firms whose annual compensation reports will be audited.