5 things to watch Thursday at the Florida Legislature

May 2, 2013 

Thursday is the next-to-last day of the 2013 legislative session. Here are five things to watch: * The House may consider one of the most significant bills of the session that awaits a floor vote: changes to Florida election laws, including mandating eight days of early voting and expanding the number of early voting sites.

* "Mary," the mechanical auto-reader who has been "reading" bill texts aloud for the past two days in the House, can take the rest of the session off. Under legislative rules, the House can only take up returning messages after the 58th day. Those do not need to be re-introduced, so there's no way to read them aloud.

* Legislators can take a vote on the budget anytime after 1:37 p.m., which will be 72 hours after the compromise spending plan was first available on Monday.

* The Senate plans a final vote on a bill that makes a number of changes to Florida's driving laws and creates several new specialty license tags.

* The Senate will adopt a resolution honoring the memory of Bill McBride, the Tampa lawyer and 2002 Democratic candidate for governor who died last December. McBride was the husband of Alex Sink, the 2010 Democratic candidate for governor.

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