5 things to watch at the Florida Legislature on Thursday

March 6, 2014 

Thursday marks the third day of the 2014 legislative session. Here are five things to watch: * The so-called Pop-Tart bill gets an airing in the House. The bill (HB 7029) by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, a stalwart supporter of gun owners' rights, protects children from being punished for having food shaped like a gun, as a child in Maryland did by eating a gun-shaped Pop-Tart. * Legislation to protect sharks from having fins removed for sale in Florida waters will be considered by the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. The bill (SB 540) exempts restaurants until July 1. New York, California and several other states passed similar laws. * On public records, a Senate panel will take up SB 7064, which clarifies that a request for records does not have to be made in writing, and the cost of producing the records must be no more than the hourly pay of the lowest paid employee capable of doing the work. The First Amendment Foundation calls the bill "a step in the right direction." * Cities and counties would have to give preference to Florida-based companies in awarding many state-funded contracts as the state already does, under a bill (SB 616) by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla. The bill comes before the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee. * Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet will meet for the first time in weeks.Their agenda includes issuing $267 million in bonds to make improvements on Florida's Turnpike system and selling two parcels of state-owned land in Palm Beach and Seminole counties.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service