Five things to look for in Tuesday’s legislative session

March 19, 2013 

TALLAHASSEE -- Drones, driver’s licenses and defense contractor tax refunds are among the issues legislators have on their plates on Tuesday. Here are five things to watch for:

• The Senate convenes a floor session to consider several bills, including fast-moving Senate Bill 1766, sponsored by the Transportation Committee. It would repeal a law passed in 2012 that requires international visitors to have a special permit to drive in Florida. The House unanimously passed House Bill 7059 last week.

• The House Elections and Ethics Committee will modify the ethics bill to accommodate the concerns of critics with one exception: They plan to remove the ban on executive branch lobbying for most legislators except the House speaker and Senate president.

• Known as the “Parent Trigger” bill, House Bill 867 or Parent Empowerment in Education, is under consideration in the Education Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill would enable parents whose children attend chronically failing schools to make significant changes, including turning a troubled public school into a charter school.

• The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice takes up a bill (SB 92) that would put restrictions on when police in Florida could use unmanned aerial drones.

• A bill (SB 236) that would delete caps on tax refunds for qualified defense contractors and space flight businesses and for qualified target industry businesses is up before the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.

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