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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Capitol Buzz for Wednesday, 2/1

1

February

Five Stories To Think About Today

 * A Buddhist prayer in a kindergarten class, a Jewish invocation at a high school graduation and everything in between would be allowable if the Senate approves a proposal to allow student-led inspirational messages at pubilc schools. The matter is expected to be voted on today, but even if the Senate approves the legislation it has yet to be heard in the House.

* The Senate will also continue its discussion on prison privatization. Though leaders are in favor of the proposal, support among the rank-and-file is shaky and divided. Today, members will discuss an amendment filed by Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) that would effectively kill the proposal.

* On the House side, the Appropriations Committee will discuss a $69.2 billion budget proposal in anticipation of a full House vote next week.

* The Senate is moving slower and hasn't proposed any appropriations numbers yet. However, its Budget Committee and all but one appropriations subcommittee are scheduled to take up various parts of the budget today.

* Hungry yet? The infamous Miami-Dade County Paella Fest comes to the Capitol courtyard at lunchtime. Gov. Rick Scott and members of his Cabinet have been invited to serve some of the 3,000 guests expected to dine on the super-sized dish.

 

Three Issues You Missed Yesterday

 * Voters in the rural counties of Gadsden and Washington became the first in the state to agree to install slot machines outside of Miami-Dade and Broward.

* Senate President Mike Haridopolos stopped debate on a contentious prison privatization bill Tuesday and acknowledged he's not sure it can pass.

* A House education subcommittee debated a bill that would impose new regulations on the Florida High School Athletic Association and allow more children in private schools to participate in sports at public schools.

* Bonus: You may or may not have heard last night that Mitt Romney claimed Florida

 

Who To Watch Today/Quotable Quotes

* "Sen. Siplin: Sen. Braynon and I, as proud Seminoles, we wanted to know does this bill allow Tebowing in public schools?" -Sen. Chris Smith, joking with Sen. Gary Siplin during debate on the Senate floor on Siplin's bill about prayer in schools, CS/SB 98. Siplin responded with "Absolutely."

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 8:00am]

    

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