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Capitol Buzz: 5 things to watch today in Tallahassee

Sure budget negotiations are ongoing and millions of dollars are hanging in the balance on issues like the Everglades, tax incentives, university tuition, water projects and beach restoration. But much of the drama today will revolve around bills in the House and Senate.

* The main attraction: The House Medicaid expansion alternative will be discussed and put in position for a Friday floor vote. The plan, sponsored by Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, would cover 130,000 residents. It's at odds with a Senate plan that would cover 1 million. Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, has an amendment to HB 7169 that would replace it with the more comprehensive Senate plan. Democrats have pledged to support the amendment. But the real question: Will there be any moderate Republicans coming along?

* South Floridians will want to watch the Senate for a couple of important bills. SB 1718 would allow Miami-Dade County to levy a voter-approved half-penny sales tax to support capital projects at Miami Dade College and Florida International University.

* A bill that would allow the Miami Dolphins to receive millions of dollars in tax breaks for a stadium renovation goes to the floor of the Florida Senate. SB 306 allows various sports teams to compete for tax breaks, with the state jobs agency ranking each team based on potential economic impact.

* And is this the day senators will hear SB 1392, the oft-delayed pension overhaul bill sponsored by Sen. Wilton Simpson? It was delayed Wednesday, but it's teed up again for today. Meanwhile, Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center, a policy think tank based in Pennsylvania, will hold a teleconference at 12:30 p.m. with reporters. He'll explain why it's his belief, as well as the Florida Retirement Security Coalition, that 1392 and another bill in the House, 7011, would jeopardize benefits for the 650,000 teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement officers enrolled in the system now.

* Whatever happens, be sure to wear pink and green, it's Lilly Pulitzer Day at the Capitol.

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