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Politics

What's Going on the Week of April 14

April 15, 2019 - 9:00am

In 1988, Florida lawmakers approved a bill requiring parental consent before minors could have abortions.

The next year, the state Supreme Court issued a controversial ruling that said the requirement was unconstitutional.

Now, three decades later, the debate is back. The Florida House during the coming week could pass a parental-consent measure, and the Senate also has started moving forward with its version of the bill.

Abortion opponents have backed the parental-consent idea through the years but faced a roadblock at the state Supreme Court. With Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointing three justices in January, however, the Supreme Court has become more conservative.

And if the GOP-dominated Legislature passes a parental-consent bill during the next few weeks, the issue could provide an early test of how much the court has changed.

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019

Legislature:

SPECIAL ORDER SET: The Senate Special Order Calendar Group will set the special-order calendar, which lists bills that will be heard on the Senate floor. (Monday, 5:15 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

Also:

MINIMUM WAGE HIKE ANALYZED: The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will hold a workshop about a proposed constitutional amendment that would raise the minimum wage in the state. The proposal, which could go on the November 2020 ballot, would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021 and increase by $1 each year until it hits $15 an hour on Sept. 30, 2026. The state’s minimum wage this year is $8.46 an hour. (Monday, 8:30 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

CONGRESSWOMAN DISCUSSES HEALTH CARE: U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., will visit Baptist Hospital Homestead and hold a roundtable discussion later in the morning about expanding access to health care. (Monday, 10 a.m., Baptist Hospital Homestead, 975 Baptist Way, Homestead. Also, roundtable at 11:30 a.m., Sanitas Medical Center-Kendall, 7135 S.W. 117th Ave., Miami.)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES ON TABLE: The Criminal Justice Estimating Conference will hold what is known as an “impact” conference, which typically involves estimating potential costs of legislation. (Monday, noon, 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Gulf, Taylor and Citrus counties. (Monday, 1 p.m., Port St. Joe Library, 110 Library Dr., Port St. Joe. Also, 1 p.m., Taylor County Administrative Complex, 201 East Green St., Perry. Also, 1 p.m., Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, 915 North Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

Legislature:

STATE TECHNOLOGY CHANGES WEIGHED: The Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (SB 1570), sponsored by Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, that would eliminate the Agency for State Technology. Under the plan, backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the agency’s duties would be shifted to the Florida Department of Management Services. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

COUNTY COURTS AT ISSUE: The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (SB 328), sponsored by Chairman Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that would lead to county courts handling more civil lawsuits. Currently, county courts handle civil cases that seek up to $15,000, with circuit courts handling cases involving larger amounts. The bill would increase the threshold for county-court cases to $30,000 as of July 1 and $50,000 as of July 1, 2021. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

COMPUTER SCIENCE BOOSTED: The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (SB 1366), filed by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, that would allow high-school students to substitute one computer-science credit for a science credit needed to graduate. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

TAX CUTS ON TABLE: The House Appropriations Committee will consider a tax-cut package (HB 7123), sponsored by Ways & Means Chairman Bryan Avila, R-Miami Springs. The $102.4 million package includes reducing a tax rate on commercial leases and holding back-to-school and disaster-preparedness tax “holidays.” (Tuesday, 10 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

‘TELEHEALTH’ EYED IN SENATE: The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (SB 1526), filed by Sen. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, that would create a regulatory framework for “telehealth” in Florida. Among other things, the bill would require that insurers and HMOs pay the same amounts to providers whether health services are delivered through telehealth or in person, a concept known as payment “parity.” (Tuesday, 1 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

HURRICANE AID SOUGHT: The Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (SB 1610), filed by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, that would provide $300 million for a loan program that would help counties, cities and school districts cover repair costs from Hurricane Michael. It also would provide $15 million for an agricultural loan program. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

LOCAL REFERENDUMS AT ISSUE: The Senate Finance and Tax Committee will consider a proposal (SB 1040), filed by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, that would place restrictions on local sales-tax referendums. The bill, in part, would require that such referendums be held at the time of general elections, rather than during other elections that might have lower turnout. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

COLLEGE PRESIDENT SEARCHES DEBATED: The House Education Committee will take up a bill (HB 7115), filed by Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, that would create a public-records exemption for information about applicants to become presidents or provosts of state universities or colleges. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

‘SANCTUARY CITIES’ TARGETED: The House Judiciary Committee will consider a proposal (HB 527), filed by Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, and Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, that would seek to prevent so-called sanctuary cities in Florida. The bill would require the state, local governments and law-enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

OFFICE SURGERY AT ISSUE: The House Health & Human Services Committee will take up a bill (HB 933), filed by Rep. Anthony Rodriguez, R-Miami, that would revamp regulations for office surgery centers after news reports highlighted patient deaths at two Southeast Florida plastic surgery centers. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

CONFIRMATION HEARINGS HELD: The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will hold confirmation hearings for several officials, including Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew and Public Service Commission members Julie Brown and Gary Clark. (Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

Also:

SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY BOARD HOLDS CALL: The Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology will hold a conference call. (Tuesday, 9 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 346983002.)

ORTHOTISTS, PROSTHETISTS HOLD CALL: The Florida Board of Orthotists and Prosthetists will hold a conference call. (Tuesday, 9 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 744469610.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Brevard, Santa Rosa, Miami-Dade, Okaloosa, Leon, Walton, Manatee and DeSoto counties. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, 400 South Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island. Also, 9 a.m. Central time, Gulf Breeze Chamber of Commerce, 409 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze. Also, 10:30 a.m., Council Towers, 533 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Also, 11 a.m. Central time, Destin Community Center, 101 Stahlman Ave., Destin. Also, 12:15 p.m., Northeast Branch Library, 5513 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee. Also, 1 p.m. Central time, Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, 63 South Centre Trail, Santa Rosa Beach. Also, 2 p.m., Downtown Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd., Bradenton. Also, 2 p.m., DeSoto County Government Center, 201 East Oak St., Arcadia.)

FPL TAX ISSUES ON TABLE: The state Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on the impacts of a 2017 federal tax overhaul on Florida Power & Light. The tax overhaul, in part, included lowering the corporate-income tax rate, providing large savings for companies such as FPL. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

MUCARSEL-POWELL IN MONROE COUNTY: U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., will hold meetings in Key West about affordable-housing projects and the Title X family-planning program. (Tuesday, affordable housing meeting at 1:15 p.m. and Title X meeting at 2:30 p.m., Key West City Hall, 1300 White St., Key West.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Legislature:

SENATE HOLDS FLOOR SESSION: The Senate is scheduled to hold a floor session and could approve a bill (SB 178), filed by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, that would lead to the tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida operating for at least the next eight years. The agency, which has been criticized by House leaders, will be eliminated Oct. 1 unless lawmakers reauthorize it during this year’s legislative session. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Senate chamber, the Capitol.)

PARENTAL CONSENT DEBATED: The House will take up numerous issues during a floor session, including a proposal (HB 1335), filed by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, that would require parental consent before minors could have abortions. Among other bills that will be considered is a measure (HB 171), sponsored by Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, that could lead to needle- and syringe-exchange programs in various parts of the state. The Senate has already passed its version of the bill (SB 366) as lawmakers look to curb the spread of diseases by intravenous drug users. (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m., House chamber, the Capitol.)

INSURANCE, IMMIGRATION ISSUES ON AGENDA: The Senate Rules Committee will take up numerous bills, including a proposal (SB 122), filed by Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, that would make changes in the controversial insurance practice known as assignment of benefits. Also, the committee is expected to consider a proposal (SB 168), filed by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, that would seek to prevent so-called sanctuary cities in Florida. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

OTHER SCHEDULED MEETINGS:

--- House Ways & Means Committee (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

Also:

ENTERPRISE FLORIDA CHIEF AT GULF POWER SYMPOSIUM: Enterprise Florida President and CEO Jamal Sowell and Gulf Power President Marlene Santos are expected to be among the speakers on the first day of the two-day Gulf Power Economic Symposium. (Wednesday, speakers start at 8:30 a.m., Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Miramar Beach.)

PAROLE CASES ON TABLE: The Florida Commission on Offender Review will consider dozens of cases from across the state. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

‘GOLD SEAL’ NURSING HOMES EYED: The Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care will hold a conference call to consider applications for “Gold Seal” awards for nursing homes. (Wednesday, 9 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 998518088.)

UNEMPLOYMENT CASES CONSIDERED: The state Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission will meet. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., 101 Rhyne Building, 2740 Centerview Dr., Tallahassee.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Columbia, Collier, Holmes, Miami-Dade, Suwannee, Washington and Bay counties. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., West Branch Library, 435 N.W. Hall of Fame Dr., Lake City. Also, 10 a.m., North Collier Government Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Also, 11 a.m. Central time, Holmes County Chamber of Commerce, 106 East Byrd Ave., Bonifay. Also, 11 a.m., Miami Lakes City Hall, 6601 Main St., Miami Lakes. Also, noon, Suwannee Regional Library, 1848 Ohio Ave. South, Live Oak. Also, 12:30 p.m. Central time, Chipley City Hall, 1442 West Jackson Ave., Chipley. Also, 2:30 p.m. Central time, Panama City Beach Senior Center, 423 Lyndell Lane, Panama City Beach.)

HEALTH CARE ACCESS AT ISSUE: U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., will hold a roundtable discussion in Monroe County about issues such as access to health care. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Key West City Hall, 1300 White St., Key West.)

UCF SALARY INCREASES ON TABLE: The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees will hold a conference call to discuss an agreement with the United Faculty of Florida that would provide salary increases to employees. (Wednesday, 11 a.m. Call-in number: 1-800-442-5794. Code: 463796.)

FORMER CONGRESSMAN AT FLAGLER TIGER BAY: Jason Altmire, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, will speak to the Flagler Tiger Bay Club. (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m., The Hammock Dunes Club, 30 Avenue Royale, Palm Coast.)

DEVELOPMENT FINANCE BOARD MEETS: The Florida Development Finance Corp. Board of Directors will meet. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Florida Development Finance Corp., 156 Tuskawilla Road, Suite 2340, Winter Springs. Call-in number: 1-646-741-5292. Code: 1127874494.)

FAMU BOARD HOLDS CALL: The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees will hold a conference call after a meeting of the board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee. The board is slated to discuss an accountability plan. (Wednesday, committee meeting at 4 p.m., followed by full board, Florida A&M University, Lee Hall, Tallahassee.)

‘TASTE OF TALLAHASSEE’ TIME: Capitol denizens can go across the street for food and craft beer as the city holds “A Taste of Tallahassee.” (Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Adams Street in front of Tallahassee City Hall.)

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

Legislature:

HOUSE HOLDS FLOOR SESSION: The House is scheduled to hold a floor session. (Thursday, 1 p.m., House chamber, the Capitol.)

SPECIAL ORDER SET: The Senate Special Order Calendar Group will set the special-order calendar, which lists bills that will be heard on the Senate floor. (Thursday, 15 minutes after Appropriations Committee, 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

OTHER SCHEDULED MEETINGS:

--- House Commerce Committee (Thursday, 8 a.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

--- House State Affairs Committee (Thursday, 8 a.m., Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol.)

--- Senate Appropriations Committee (Thursday, 9 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

--- House Rules Committee (Thursday, 15 minutes after floor session, 404 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

Also:

FIU TRUSTEES MEET: The Florida International University Board of Trustees will meet after holding a series of committee meetings. (Thursday, committees start at 8 a.m., with full board at 2 p.m., Florida International University, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Graham Center, Miami.)

DESANTIS SPEAKS AT GULF SYMPOSIUM: Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to speak during the second day of the Gulf Power Economic Symposium. (Thursday, 8:15 a.m., Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Miramar Beach.)

TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION MEETS: The Florida Transportation Commission will meet. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., 605 Suwannee St., Tallahassee.)

DEFENSE TASK FORCE HOLDS CALL: The Florida Defense Support Task Force, which works to protect and expand military operations and bases in the state, will hold a conference call. (Thursday, 9 a.m. Call-in number: 1-800-501-8979. Code: 1869945.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Osceola, Orange, Miami-Dade, Hernando and Lee counties. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Robert Guevara Community Center, 501 Florida Parkway, Kissimmee. Also, 10 a.m., Bithlo Neighborhood Center for Families, 18510 Madison Ave., Orlando. Also, noon, West Flagler Library, 5050 West Flagler St., Miami. Also, 1 p.m., Brooksville Library, 238 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Also, 3 p.m., Lee County East Regional Library, 881 Gunnery Road, Lehigh Acres.)

TOURISM HALL OF FAME ON TAP: Visit Florida’s Florida Council of Tourism Leaders will hold a conference call to discuss Florida Tourism Hall of Fame nominations and judge the results. (Thursday, 10 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-475-4499. Code: 2780245814.)

BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS AT ISSUE: The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a meeting about provider enrollment, prior authorization and payment for behavior-analysis services in the Medicaid program. (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, Medicaid field office, 400 West Robinson St., N109, Orlando.)

SUPREME COURT RELEASES OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions. (Thursday, 11 a.m.)

GOOD SPEAKS AT TIGER BAY: State Rep. Margaret Good, D-Sarasota, is expected to be among the speakers during a panel discussion at the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club about improving water quality. (Thursday, 11:30 a.m., Michael’s on East, 1212 South East Ave., Sarasota.)

RETIRED ADMIRAL SPEAKS IN PALM BEACH: Retired Navy Admiral Jim Stavridis will speak to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches. (Thursday, 11:45 a.m., Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.)

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

REVENUE ESTIMATING PANEL MEETS: The Revenue Estimating Conference will hold an “impact” conference, which typically involves estimating potential costs of legislation. (Friday, 8 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

MINIMUM WAGE HIKE AT ISSUE: The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will discuss a proposed constitutional amendment that would raise the minimum wage in the state. The proposal, which could go on the November 2020 ballot, would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021 and increase by $1 each year until it hits $15 an hour on Sept. 30, 2026. The state’s minimum wage this year is $8.46 an hour. (Friday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS RELEASED: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is scheduled to release March unemployment figures. (Friday, 10 a.m.)

BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS AT ISSUE: The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a meeting about provider enrollment, prior authorization and payment for behavior-analysis services in the Medicaid program. (Friday, 10:30 a.m., Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Public Health Laboratories, 1217 North Pearl St., Jacksonville.)

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