Five things to know for Monday's legislative session

March 18, 2013 

The legislative week kicks off with some controversial issues including a possible ban on Internet cafes, tax breaks for another sports team and a workshop taking up a dozen charter school bills. Here are five things to watch for on Monday:

The Senate Gaming Committee takes up a bill (SB 502) that would ban the operation of illegal gaming devices by so-called Internet cafes. The ban has gained momentum after a state and federal investigation into Allied Veterans and its affiliates led to 57 arrests last week and prompted Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to resign. The House Select Committee on Gaming passed a companion bill (HB 155) on Friday.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee tackles legislation (SB 922) sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, that would provide millions of dollars in tax breaks to pay for improvements at Everbank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Gator Bowl, among other events.

The Senate Education Committee studies 12 charter school bills in an afternoon workshop that could indicate where the legislators stand on a range of issues, including funding, accountability and transparency.

A bill (HB 1315), sponsored by W. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, that would allow young adults, under certain circumstances, to remain in foster care until age 21 instead of 18 is being considered by the Healthy Families Subcommittee.

Ian Kysel, author of the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch report, Growing Up Locked Down: Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons Across the United States, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The panel is considering the Youth in Solitary Confinement Reduction Act (SB 812), sponsored by State Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, which limits solitary confinement for juveniles in Florida’s jails and prisons.

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