Florida House may burn the midnight oil next week
The state House of Representatives has blocked out time for very late-night sessions next week, on Tuesday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 16. That's when the House will take up the teacher tenure bill, already fast-tracked in the Senate, will be on the House floor. The timing is no coincidence: Similar late night sessions took place last session when the original tenure bill, Senate Bill 6, was on the House calendar. (The bill passed, but then-Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed it).
The House is prepared to meet until 11:45 p.m. Tuesday and 1 a.m. Wednesday (actually Thursday). "It's giving the opportunity for all legislators, Republican and Democrat, to debate a very important issue to the citizens of this state," said Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel. "The speaker (Rep. Dean Cannon) is just trying to show deference to people who are both for and against the bill. They can say the Legislature is rushing this through, but nothing could be further from the truth."
Next Tuesday is also the date of the annual Capitol Press Skits, when reporters skewer political leaders at a well-attended event that raises money for journalism scholarships. "Yeah, I know," Weatherford said. "I already bought tickets. I go every year."