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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Today in Tallahassee: Five Things to Know

4

April

Well, it could have been a busy day in Tallahassee today, but both the House and Senate plowed through their Thursday agendas, passing a flurry of bills, including the proposed $75 billion budget. So, floor sessions that had been planned were scrapped. So here’s what’s left. Uh, it’s still kind of busy.

-- The House Judiciary Committee will consider HB 1047,which would change the threshold for terminating a fetus. Currently, state law prohibits abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. Under HB 1047, it would prohibit the abortions of fetuses that can survive outside of the womb through standard medical care.

-- A measure that would create a needle exchange program in Miami-Dade County (HB 491) will also be heard in the House Judiciary Committee. Its companion in the Senate is ready for a vote on the floor. A similar proposal failed to reach the finish line in the 2014 session.

-- The House State Affairs Committee will consider a bill that is a replay of Sen. Wilton Simpson’s attempt at pension reform. With session past its midpoint, House Speaker Will Weatherford decided his best bet at an overhaul of the state’s pension bill was with this compromise, which doesn’t require state workers to enroll in private investment plans rather than the pension system. But if they don’t choose in eight months, they get automatically enrolled in the investment plan.

-- A bill known as the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act (HB 183) has its last committee stop in the House Economic Affairs Subcommittee on Friday. Its Senate companion (SB 102) has already passed on the Senate floor. The bill would create tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident. It is named in memory of a Miami cyclist w--ho died in 2012.

-- The Uber bill (HB 1389), named after the startup that lets users request town-car rides using a smartphone app, comes up before the House Economic Affairs Committee. The hot-button proposal by Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa, seeks to let companies like Uber to circumvent municipalities and win approval from the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

[Last modified: Friday, April 4, 2014 9:20am]

    

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