Five things to look for in Tuesday’s legislative session

April 9, 2013 

TALLAHASSEE -- It’s “Seersucker Suit Day” in the Florida Capitol, so lawmakers will be donning light-colored attire and taking on a slew of heavy issues at the committee level. Here’s what to watch:

• The Senate Rules Committee looks at two major issues of this legislative session — fixing the elections system in Florida (SB 600) and rewriting the laws governing campaign finance reform (SB 1382). Gov. Rick Scott has come out against higher limits for individual political contributions, so the bill may get amended to keep the state’s $500 limit during its final committee stop.

• Down with PIP? After overhauling the state’s Personal Injury Protection auto insurance laws last year, lawmakers are considering calling the whole thing off. A lawsuit has temporarily stuck down some of the PIP reform efforts, so the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee is looking at changing Florida from a no-fault PIP state to a “bodily injury” system. Bonus: The committee will also host a confirmation hearing for Citizens Insurance President Barry Gilway.

• The Senate Health Policy Committee will take up the SB 1636, the “Infants Born Alive” bill, which requires healthcare providers to protect the life of infants after a botched abortion. The bill struck up controversy recently when pro-choice representatives flubbed an answer about what should be done to a baby born alive after a botched abortion.

• The House Health and Human Services Committee hears HB 1119, which replaces the term “mental retardation” with “intellectually disability” throughout the Florida Statutes.

• It’s also Great American Realtors Day at the Florida Capitol. There will be a block party as well as other events to promote homeownership.

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