5 things to watch at the Florida Legislature on Thursday

March 28, 2013 

TALLAHASSEE -- Lawmakers, lobbyists and laymen have a busy day Thursday before they leave town for the Easter holiday. Here are five things to watch in the Capitol and beyond:

-- The Florida Education Association, the state teachers' union, will hold an 8:30 a.m. news conference to discuss how changes to the Florida Retirement System would impact the teaching profession.

-- Speaking of those pension bills, the Senate will hear two of them Thursday when the Appropriations Committee meets at 9 a.m. The committee will also hear a buzzed-about proposal from Sen. Joe Negron that would limit how law enforcement agencies can use drones.

-- Also up in Senate Appropriations Negron's plan to reduce the cost of car registrations. The bill, SPB 7132, would eliminate a $220 million annual tax credit for insurance companies, and use the money to decrease the cost of registering cars by about $12 each.

-- House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, will address the Board of Governors about his plan to more fully incorporate online learning into higher education. The meeting takes place in the student union at Florida A&M University, with Weatherford speaking at 9:30 a.m.

-- The House Appropriations Committee, which meets at 4 p.m., will consider a proposal to let universities raise the fees that support construction and maintenance.

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