5 things to watch Wednesday at the Florida Legislature

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on April 9, 2014 

From the Herald-Times Tallahassee Bureau

The Florida House will be a busy place today, as a key Senate panel takes up the session's tax-cut package. Here are five things to watch at the state Capitol:

-- The House has slated a six-hour floor session, with lots of debate likely on bills dealing with abortion restrictions and to allow people without concealed weapons permits to carry guns in emergencies.

--The Senate Finance & Tax Subcommittee will workshop the House-passed package of tax cuts, without taking a vote. The bill (HB 5601) includes a three-day back-to-school sales tax holiday starting Aug. 1, a 12-day sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness items starting June 1, a four-day sales tax holiday for energy-efficient appliances starting Sept. 19 and a week-long sales tax break on gym memberships starting Sept. 1.

-- The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education considers one of the session's most intensely-debated issues: allowing the children of undocumented immigrants to attend colleges and universities at cheaper in-state tuition rates. The bill (SB 1400) is sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and the House version has already cleared that chamber easily.

-- The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services will take up legislation that would set up guidelines for telemedicine, or allowing doctors to use teleconferencing to provide services. The bill (SB 1646), which has drawn some consumer protection concerns, is sponsored by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.

-- It's Hillsborough County Day in Tallahassee, a chance to showcase the county's pride, from Plant City strawberries to the Moffitt Cancer Center to its bustling airport and seaport.

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