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Capitol Buzz: 5 things to watch today in Tallahassee

Here's what we're watching on Day 51 of the 2012 Legislature:

• The Capitol should be awash in orange and green; it's FAMU day in the Legislature. Wednesday is also seersucker day, so expect to see some stylish — and summery — suits.

• While negotiations over the budget continue, the House will take up a proposal from Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, to outlaw Internet cafes, which often operate video slot machines. Attorney General Pam Bondi is backing the proposal, but opponents say it would lead to the loss of 13,000 jobs statewide.

•The lower chamber will also consider a bill that would allow parents to make sweeping changes at low-performing schools. In some cases, parents could even opt to have the school converted into a charter school. The bill, known as the Parent Empowerment Act, has the support of former Gov. Jeb Bush and nationally known school reformer Michelle Rhee. But it has met opposition from Florida parent groups, including the statewide Parent Teacher Association. Also on deck in the House on Wednesday: a wide-ranging abortion bill that lays out restrictions on third-trimester abortions, requires owners of new clinics to be doctors and imposes a 24-hour waiting period. The proposal comes from Rep. Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Brandon.

•Over in the Senate, lawmakers will cast a final vote on a bill that would allow ads on state greenways and trails. The revenue would support bicycle safety programs and efforts to beautify the trails. The bill has found support from Democrats and Republicans, though some lawmakers oppose cluttering the great outdoors with signs. The sponsors have promised any signs would be discreet.

Early childhood education advocates will hold a press conference to oppose a pair of House bills that they say could "dismantle much of Florida's early learning system." The groups are, however, supporting SB 1974 by Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, which they consider the best of the early childhood education overhaul bills.

What should we talk about tomorrow? Tweet to us @PoliticsTBTimes

Capitol Buzz: 5 things to watch today in Tallahassee 02/29/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 6:00am]
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