Capitol Buzz for Thursday, 1/12
Five Stories To Think About Today
* Gov. Rick Scott's cost-saving measures in his budget proposal include shutting six prisons because of a drop in the inmate population. The big question is, which prisons? Closing a prison means eliminating jobs, and that is very painful in small-town Florida, where most prisons are located. The Department of Corrections will propose to the Legislature which ones to shutter Thursday.
* Also Thursday, state economists will revisit the state's revenue picture and update it for lawmakers in a process known as a revenue estimating conference. If the latest projection is not rosy, that's bad news for health care and education programs.
* Several of Scott's agency heads face confirmation hearings in the Senate, including corrections chief Ken Tucker and elder affairs secretary Charles Corley. No major fireworks are expected; it's rare for lawmakers to put a high-level bureaucrat on the hot seat in public.
* Legislation that would outlaw texting while driving gets its second committee hearing. The bill (SB 416) is sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice.
* The Florida Chamber of Commerce starts its annual Capitol Days, promoting its pro-business agenda, with events at the Capitol, the Governor's Club and Hotel Duval in Tallahassee.
Three Issues You Missed Yesterday
* The RNC rules panel approved punishments for Florida Republicans because of the state's moved-up primary date. Among the punishments: lousy floor space, reduced-priority hotel rooms and no VIP or guest passes for delegates.
Who To Watch Today/Quotable Quotes
* “This is ridiculous! Have a conscience." -Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, to Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights.