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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

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 Senate Redistricting committee passed its maps Wednesday afternoon.

A House panel approved a new no-fault PIP system that would require most people injured in accidents to visit an emergency room within 72 hours.

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.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 12, 2012 10:13am]


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