TALLAHASSEE — It could be a very long day in the Florida House.
House Speaker Dean Cannon has scheduled nine full hours of discussion and debate on the so-called teacher quality bill (HB 7019) that creates new evaluation systems for teachers and includes a merit pay plan.
Similar legislation was vetoed last year by Gov. Charlie Crist, following intense criticism from parents and teachers that the 2010 version was rammed through the Legislature too quickly with insufficient debate and consideration.
"It's giving the opportunity for all legislators, Republican and Democrat, to discuss a very important issue to the citizens of the state of Florida," said Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel. "It just takes time."
The House calendar has the chamber in session from 2:45 p.m. until 11:45 p.m. That does not mean the session will last that long, but it could.
The Senate is in session for two hours, from 10 a.m. until noon, but no major legislation is on the agenda.
Steve Bousquet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 224-7263.