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Politics

What's Going on the Week of March 17

March 18, 2019 - 7:00am
When lawmakers meet each year, they consider hundreds of bills. But they only have one must-do: pass a state budget.
 
The outlines of a 2019-2020 budget will start to take shape during the coming week as House and Senate appropriations subcommittees discuss initial spending plans for areas such as education, health care and the environment.
 
The full House and Senate later will approve budget proposals before beginning negotiations on a final spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a record $91.3 billion budget, but his plan will be revamped before lawmakers ultimately sign off.
 
House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, has made clear he wants a tighter budget than the DeSantis proposal --- a stance that Senate President Bill Galvano acknowledged this week.
 
"I think that (Oliva’s view on the budget) is consistent with the way the speaker has approached the budget process,” Galvano, R-Bradenton, said. “As long as I’ve known him, he is a fiscal conservative and that’s important. We have to be fiscally responsible, but at the same time we’re looking at all the factors, including what unanticipated needs we have to address. For example, in this budget period we have to address the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. I understand where he’s coming from. I recognize why he wants to go there. But we also have to make sure we’re covering impacts from unexpected areas."
 
MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019
 
Legislature:
 
DEMOCRATS TOUT SUPPORT FOR VENEZUELANS: Democratic lawmakers will hold a news conference to discuss support for Venezuelans in the United States and in turbulent Venezuela. Participants in the news conference are expected to include Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami; Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami; Sen. Victor Torres, D-Orlando; Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando; and Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee. (Monday, 11:30 a.m., fourth floor, the Capitol.)
 
CHEAPER PRESCRIPTION DRUGS SOUGHT: The House Appropriations Committee will consider a proposal (HB 19), filed by Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, that would create a program aimed at importing cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. The House has moved forward with the proposal after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced support for such a program. (Monday, 1 p.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
CITRUS GREENING, BEES GET ATTENTION: The Senate Agriculture Committee will receive updates about the deadly citrus greening disease and Florida’s bee population. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
MONEY SOUGHT FOR RURAL COUNTIES: The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee will consider a proposal (SB 1162), filed by Sen. George Gainer, R-Panama City, that would create the Northwest Florida Rural Inland Affected Counties Recovery Fund, which would receive a portion of money from a legal settlement with BP that stemmed from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The state Department of Economic Opportunity would provide grants from the fund for infrastructure and workforce projects in Calhoun, Gadsden, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty and Washington counties. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
CRIME STOPPERS INFORMATION TARGETED: The Senate Criminal Justice Committee will take up a bill (SB 1766), filed by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, that would shield from disclosure “privileged” information provided to Crime Stoppers programs. Such information includes the identities of people who communicate with Crime Stoppers. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
HOSPITAL REGULATIONS AT ISSUE: The Senate Health Policy Committee will consider a proposal (SB 1712), filed by Chairwoman Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, that would make a series of regulatory changes related to hospitals. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
LAWMAKERS HOPE TO BOOST TELEHEALTH: The House Ways & Means Committee will take up a proposal (HB 23), filed by Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, that would take a series of steps aimed at increasing the use of “telehealth” to provide services to patients. (Monday, 3:30 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
PRESCRIPTION DRUG CHANGES TARGETED: The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee will take up a bill (SB 1180), filed by Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Rockledge, that would place restrictions on the ability of health insurers to change prescription-drug formularies. (Monday, 4 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ON AGENDA: The Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee will consider several issues, including receiving a presentation on behavioral health. (Monday, 4 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
‘AOB’ CHANGES CONSIDERED: The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a closely watched bill (SB 122), filed by Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, that would revamp the controversial insurance practice known as “assignment of benefits.” Insurers contend that the practice has become riddled with fraud and litigation, while plaintiffs’ attorneys and other groups say it helps make sure claims are properly paid. (Monday, 4 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
SPECIAL ORDER SET: The Senate Special Order Calendar Group will set a special-order calendar, which lists bills that will be heard on the Senate floor. (Monday, 15 minutes after committee meetings, 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
Also:
 
RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Broward, Bay, Citrus and Gulf counties. (Monday, 11 a.m., Broward County Main Library, 100 South Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Also, noon, Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th St., Panama City. Also, 1 p.m., Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, 106 West Main St., Inverness. Also, 3 p.m., Gulf County Public Library, 110 Library Dr., Port St. Joe.)
 
OSTEOPATHIC BOARD HOLDS CALL: The Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine will hold a conference call. (Monday, 1 p.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 742225236.)
 
I-95 INTERCHANGE AT ISSUE: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing about an improvement project involving the interchange of Interstate 95 and Broward Boulevard in Broward County. (Monday, 5:30 p.m., African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.)
 
TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019
 
Legislature:
 
FELONS’ RIGHTS ON AGENDA: The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will take up a bill (PCB CRJ 19-03), which would carry out a constitutional amendment that requires automatic restoration of voting rights for most felons who have fulfilled their sentences. Voters approved the constitutional amendment in November. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
PARENTAL CONSENT CONSIDERED: The House Health Quality Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 1335), filed by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, that would require parental consent before minors could have abortions. The proposal would be stronger than a current requirement that parents be notified before minors have abortions. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
VOLUSIA HOSPITAL WEIGHED: The House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 523), filed by Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, that stems from a legal battle over a decision by the public Halifax Hospital Medical Center to build a hospital in Deltona. A circuit judge said the Halifax taxing district did not have authority to issue bonds for the project. The taxing district is based in Daytona Beach, and the Deltona hospital is in western Volusia County, outside the district boundaries. The bill would allow Halifax to build and operate facilities outside its boundaries. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES EYED: The House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 311), filed by Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, that would take steps that could help bolster the use of autonomous vehicles in Florida. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
LAW ENFORCEMENT DUTIES AT ISSUE: The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (PCB ANR 19-01) that would transfer law-enforcement responsibilities from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to the Department of Environmental Protection. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
COMMUNICATIONS TAXES, FEES CONSIDERED: The House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 693), filed by Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, that would reduce the state’s communications-services tax and restrict the ability of local governments to collect fees from communications providers that use public roads or rights of way. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 306 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
AGENCY BUDGETS ON TABLE: The Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee will review budget issues related to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Citrus, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Lottery, the Department of Management Services, the Public Service Commission and the Department of Revenue. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS AT ISSUE: The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a bill (SB 782), filed by Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, that would make more people eligible to be sentenced as youthful offenders. The bill would allow people to be sentenced as youthful offenders if they commit felonies before age 21. Current law requires them to be sentenced while they are under 21. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
SCHOOL VOUCHERS DEBATED: The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a proposal (SB 7070) that would expand the use of school vouchers, including creating a new voucher program known as the Family Empowerment Scholarship program. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
DEREGULATION SOUGHT: The House Business & Professions Subcommittee will consider a bill (HB 27), filed by Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, that would remove or revamp regulations on numerous types of professions. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
RECYCLING ON AGENDA: The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee will take up a proposal (HB 771), filed by Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Palm City, that would require cities and counties to address the issue of non-hazardous contamination of recyclable materials. The local governments would have to address the issue in contracts with recycling collectors and processing facilities. (Tuesday, noon, 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY AT ISSUE: The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a bill (PCB HCA 19-01) that would make permanent the elimination of a 90-day retroactive eligibility period for people applying for Medicaid. (Tuesday, noon, 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
SCHOOL CHOICE CONSIDERED: The House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee will take up a proposal (PCB PKI 19-02) that would make a series of changes in school-choice programs. That would include changes to the Schools of Hope program, which is designed to lead to charter schools serving students who have been in low-performing traditional public schools. (Tuesday, noon, 306 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
SPECIALTY PLATES PROPOSED: The House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee will consider a bill (HB 1225), filed by Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, that would create new specialty license plates for Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. (Tuesday, noon, Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
TECHNOLOGY REORGANIZATION PURSUED: The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a proposal (PCB GOT 19-01) that would lead to eliminating the Agency for State Technology and transferring its responsibilities to the Department of Management Services. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
HIGHWAY PROJECTS EYED: The Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a bill (SB 7068) that calls for three major toll-road projects. The bill, a priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, would lead to extending the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border; extending the Florida Turnpike west to connect with the Suncoast Parkway; and building a highway from Polk County to Collier County. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS SOUGHT: The House Health Market Reform Subcommittee will take up a proposal (HB 501), filed by Rep. Mel Ponder, R-Destin, that would give the state Department of Veterans’ Affairs the authority to contract for “alternative” treatment options for veterans with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such treatment could include such things as acupuncture, music therapy and yoga therapy. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., 306 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
HIGHER ED BUILDING PROJECTS AT ISSUE: The House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a bill (PCB HEA 19-01) that would make a series of changes in funding for building projects in the higher-education system. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
HOUSE PANEL HEARS ‘AOB’ PLAN: The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 7065), filed by Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, that would overhaul the controversial insurance practice known as “assignment of benefits.” Insurers contend that the practice has become riddled with fraud and litigation, while plaintiffs’ attorneys and other groups say it helps make sure claims are properly paid. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS ON AGENDA: The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (HB 7057), filed by Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers, that would lower from 19 to 18 the minimum age for correctional officers. The proposal is designed to address prison staffing shortages. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
HUMAN TRAFFICKING GETS ATTENTION: The House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 259), filed by Rep. Patricia Williams, D-Lauderdale Lakes, and Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando, that would require school health classes to include information about child abuse and human trafficking. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
CHARTER SCHOOLS CONSIDERED: The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to take up numerous bills, including a proposal (SB 934), filed by Chairman Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, that would change requirements related to “high-performing” charter schools. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
SECRETARY OF STATE, DMS CHIEF REVIEWED: The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee will hold confirmation hearings for Secretary of State Laurel Lee and Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
PUBLIC COUNSEL TERMS AT ISSUE: The Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee will consider a proposal (SB 196), filed by Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, that would place limits on the terms of the state public counsel, who represents consumers in utility issues. The public counsel would be appointed to four-year terms, with a maximum of 12 consecutive years. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
EMPLOYMENT REGULATIONS TARGETED: The House Workforce Development & Tourism Subcommittee will take up a bill (HB 847), filed by Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, that would prevent local governments from regulating employment issues such as job responsibilities and hours of work. The bill would “preempt” such regulatory authority, giving it to the state. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
Also:
 
BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETS: The State Board of Education will meet and take up issues such as a rule dealing with teacher-certification exams. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.)
 
RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Brevard, Orange, Miami-Dade and Pinellas counties. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Broward Veterans Memorial Center, 400 South Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island. Also, 9 a.m., Taft Community Center, 9450 South Orange Ave., Orlando. Also, 9:30 a.m., Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 N.W. First St., Miami. Also, 10:30 a.m., Rebecca Towers, 150 Alton Road, Miami Beach. Also, 1 p.m., Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce, 1 North Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs.)
 
CITIZENS CLAIMS DETAILED: The Claims Committee of the Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Board of Governors will hold a conference call that will include an update on litigated claims. (Tuesday, 10 a.m. Call-in number: 1-866-361-7525. Code: 5219676193.)
 
‘CAT FUND’ FORMULA EYED: The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council will discuss issues related to the premium formula. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., Hermitage Centre, 1801 Hermitage Blvd., Tallahassee. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 973664296.)
 
BROWARD BRIDGE PROJECT AT ISSUE: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold an open house on planned improvements to the Hallandale Beach Boulevard bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in Broward County. (Tuesday, 5 p.m. Hollywood Beach Culture & Community Center, 1301 South Ocean Dr., Hollywood.)
 
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019
 
Legislature:
 
BRIGHT FUTURES AT ISSUE: The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (SB 190), filed by Chairwoman Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, that includes make eligibility changes for the Bright Futures scholarship program. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
SENATE PANELS DIG INTO BUDGET: The Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee will review budget issues related to the agencies under their authority. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Agriculture, Environment and General Government, 110 Senate Office Building the Capitol. Also, 10 a.m., Criminal and Civil Justice, 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol. Also, 1:30 p.m., Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development, 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
‘TALLY TALK’ HELD IN HOUSE: The House will hold a “Tally Talk” program about government actions and their effects on health-care markets. (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE ADDRESSED: The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (SB 860), filed by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, that would make changes involving the state Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee. In part, the committee would be required to make an annual report to the governor and Legislature and would make recommendations for updating the Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
IMPACT FEES AT ISSUE: The Senate Finance and Tax Committee will consider a proposal (SB 144), filed by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, that would place additional restrictions on local impact fees. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
HOUSE HOLDS FLOOR SESSION: The House will take up numerous issues during a floor session, including a proposal (HB 21), filed by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, that would repeal the state’s certificate of need program for hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. The so-called CON program has long been controversial. Hospitals, nursing homes and hospice providers need to receive certificates of need before they can move forward with building projects and many new services. House Republican leaders say the state should take a more free-market approach to health care. (Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., House chamber, the Capitol.)
 
FLOOD INSURANCE CONSIDERED: The Senate Community Affairs Committee will take up a proposal (SB 380), filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that would revamp a requirement about insurers notifying customers that property-insurance policies do not include flood coverage. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
RED TIDE TARGETED: The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee will consider a bill (SB 1552), filed by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, that would create the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative to help prevent and control future red-tide outbreaks. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
CONSITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AT ISSUE: The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will take up a proposal (SJR 232), filed by Chairman Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, that would make it harder to pass constitutional amendments. Under the proposal, two-thirds of voters would have to approve amendments, up from the current 60 percent. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
SCHOOL SAFETY DISCUSSED: The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee will take up a school-safety bill that includes allowing trained classroom teachers to carry guns as school “guardians.” The bill (SPB 7030) is a follow-up to a safety law the Legislature passed last year after the mass shooting at Broward County’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. The law included creating the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which allowed guardians --- school personnel whose primary job duties are outside the classroom --- to be armed. A commission also created by the law released a report in early January that recommended allowing teachers to be armed. The Senate bill would carry out that recommendation, which has drawn controversy. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
LICENSING CHANGES ON TABLE: Christopher Hansford, Cato Institute director of state relations, will moderate a panel discussion about making changes in occupational licensure. Participants are expected to include Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, and Rep. Kamia Brown, D-Ocoee. (Wednesday, 5 p.m., The Governor’s Club, 202 South Adams St., Tallahassee.)
 
OTHER SCHEDULED MEETINGS:
 
--- House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee (Wednesday, 8 a.m., 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Civil Justice Subcommittee (Wednesday, 8 a.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Gaming Control Subcommittee (Wednesday, 8 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Higher Education & Career Readiness Subcommittee (Wednesday, 8 a.m., 306 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee (Wednesday, 8 a.m., 116 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
Also:
 
CITRUS ISSUES ON TABLE: The Florida Citrus Commission will meet in Polk County. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Florida Department of Citrus, 605 East Main St., Bartow.)
 
UNEMPLOYMENT CASES CONSIDERED: The Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission will meet. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., 101 Rhyne Building, 2740 Centerview Dr., Tallahassee.)
 
INCARCERATED WOMEN DISCUSSED: The group Dignity Florida will host a news conference to discuss efforts aimed at helping women and girls who are incarcerated in the state. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., fourth floor, the Capitol.)
 
RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Broward, Jackson, Miami-Dade, Escambia and Osceola counties. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Sunrise Civic Center Theatre, 10610 West Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise. Also, 10 a.m. Central time, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, 4318 Lafayette St., Marianna. Also, 11 a.m., Miami Lakes City Hall, 6601 Main St., Miami Lakes. Also, noon, Bayview Senior Citizens Center, 2000 East Lloyd St., Pensacola. Also, 1 p.m., Poinciana Library, 101 North Doverplum Ave., Kissimmee.)
 
GILLUM HOLDS EVENT IN MIAMI-DADE: Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is expected to make an announcement during an event in South Florida. (Wednesday, doors open at 5 p.m., Florida Memorial University, Smith Conference Center, 15800 N.W. 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens.)
 
THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019
 
Legislature:
 
SENATE HOLDS FLOOR SESSION: The Senate is scheduled to hold a floor session and could vote on a bill (SB 7012), filed by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, that would carry out a constitutional amendment that bans vaping and the use of electronic cigarettes in indoor workplaces. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Senate chamber.)
 
SPECIAL ORDER SET: The Senate Special Order Calendar Group will approve a special-order calendar, which lists bills that will be heard on the Senate floor. (Thursday, 15 minutes after floor session, 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
HOUSE HOLDS FLOOR SESSION: The House is scheduled to hold a floor session. (Thursday, 3:30 p.m., House chamber.)
 
OTHER SCHEDULED MEETINGS:
 
--- House Education Committee (Thursday, 8 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Health & Human Services Committee (Thursday, 8 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Judiciary Committee (Thursday, 8 a.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Commerce Committee (Thursday, noon, 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee (Thursday, noon, 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House State Affairs Committee (Thursday, noon, Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- Senate Military and Veterans Affairs and Space Committee. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- Senate Rules Committee (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)
 
--- House Rules Committee (Thursday, 15 minutes after House floor session.)
 
Also:
 
RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Glades, Miami-Dade, Franklin, Hernando and Collier counties. (Thursday, 9 a.m., 500 Avenue J S.W., Moore Haven. Also, noon, West Flagler Library, 5050 West Flagler St., Miami. Also, 12:30 p.m., Apalachicola Municipal Library, 80 12th St., Apalachicola. Also, 1 p.m., Brooksville Library, 238 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Also, 3:30 p.m., Collier South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples.)
 
UCF TRUSTEES MEET: The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees will meet after holding committee meetings. (Thursday, committees start at 9:45 a.m., with full board at 1 p.m., University of Central Florida, Fairwinds Alumni Center, Orlando.)
 
SUPREME COURT RELEASES OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions. (Thursday, 11 a.m.)
 
MEDICAID DRUGS AT ISSUE: The Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board will meet. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Building 3, Tallahassee.)
 
CRAPPIE MANAGEMENT DISCUSSED: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will continue a series of public meetings across the state seeking input on the draft plan involving the management of black crappie, a game fish commonly known as “speckled perch” or “specks.” (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Grand Lake RV & Golf Resort, 18545 N.W. 45th Ave. Road, Citra.)
 
FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019
 
PREFERRED DRUG LIST ON TABLE: The Medicaid Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee, which makes recommendations for a preferred drug list, will meet. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Building 3, Tallahassee.)
 
RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Madison and Okeechobee counties. (Friday, 9:30 a.m., Madison County Courthouse Annex, 229 S.W. Pinckney St., Madison. Also, noon, Okeechobee County Library, 206 S.W. 16th St., Okeechobee.)
 
UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS RELEASED: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is scheduled to release February unemployment figures. (Friday, 10 a.m.)
 
GRAHAM SPEAKS AT PALM BEACH GOP EVENT: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will speak at the Republican Party of Palm Beach County’s Lincoln Day dinner. Also expected to take part are former Attorney General Pam Bondi and U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla. (Friday, 6:30 p.m., Mar-A-Lago Club, Palm Beach.) 

Comments

Want a simple way to lower the cost of Medicaid and Medicare? Let chronic pain patients have up to 2 refills of their opiates prescriptions. I have to take a variety of narcotics and am forced to visit my *** every month to get refills. Treat long-term patients the same for the narcotics as for other medications. That'll save money.

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