TALLAHASSEE — The roller-coaster ride of controversial bills continues this week as legislators have a jam-packed schedule of lengthy debates and long days.
On Monday, the House Education Policy Council has scheduled a marathon eight-hour meeting to allow teachers to vent about proposals to increase graduation standards, eliminate teacher tenure and link pay to student test scores.
Despite what teachers tell them, however, House leaders want no amendments to the teacher tenure bill and plan to take it up for a floor debate Wednesday, with a final vote Thursday.
Also Monday, the House Rules & Calendar Council will meet to discuss HJR 37 by Rep. Scott Plakon, which would prohibit Floridians from being mandated to purchase health care insurance. That debate is also expected to go long.
On Tuesday, the Senate will take up its just completed gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe as well as its bill to lower tax rates for the parimutuel industry. Meanwhile, the House will spend the day honoring retired Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden and then take up its package of tax breaks designed to create jobs.
On Thursday, the House Select Committee on Seminole Compact will take up the gambling deal. And on Friday, the House has scheduled meetings of a handful of councils and committees, including the House Energy and Utilities Committee which will unveil its energy bill.
Warned Todd Reid, staff director of the House Majority Office: It's "not the week to schedule dinners out with visiting friends and family."
Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at meklas@MiamiHerald.com.