5 things to watch at the Florida Legislature on Tuesday

Posted by Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau on March 18, 2014 

On Tuesday, state lawmakers and elected officials will pay their final respects to former Gov. Reubin Askew. In addition, some high-profile education bills will be winding through the legislative process. Here's a look at the schedule: -- Former Governor Reubin Askew, who died Thursday at the age of 85, will lie in state in the Old Capitol. Gov. Rick Scott and the members of the Florida Cabinet will interrupt their Cabinet meeting to receive former Gov. Askew around 10 a.m. Visitors can pay their respects from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- The House Healthy Families Subcommittee will consider a proposal aimed at improving the state child-welfare system. The meeting comes two days after a Miami Herald investigation revealed that child deaths have spiked over the last six years. -- The Senate is likely to approve a measure by Sen. Lizbeth Benacquist, R-Fort Myers, that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. A similar proposal is moving through the House. -- The Senate Education Committee takes up a hot-button bill that would enable some undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities. The proposal (SB 1400) is expected to pass its first stop in the Senate, thanks to revisions by Sens. John Legg and Sen. Jack Latvala.

-- The House Choice and Innovation Committee will vote on another controversial education bill, this one a plan to expand the tax credit scholarship program (HB 7099). The voucher-like program provides students from low-income families with private-school scholarships.

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