5 things to watch Friday at the Florida Legislature

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on April 11, 2014 

From the Herald-Times Tallahassee Bureau

As the spring days get longer in Florida's capital, the time left in the legislative session gets shorter. Lawmakers have a busy schedule Friday and here are five things to watch:

-- The House of Representatives' floor session is scheduled from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with final votes scheduled on bills dealing with abortions, school vouchers and concealed weapons.

-- The Senate schedule is from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and includes final votes on 30 bills, including requiring background checks for certain youth sports coaches and prohibiting businesses from soliciting people by sending text messages if they are on the state's "do not call" list.

-- Motorists could legally drive 75 mph on certain limited access interstate highways under a bill before the House Economic Affairs Committee. The bill (HB 761) is sponsored by Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Fort Myers.

-- The House Judiciary Committee will vote on the proposed Florida Civil Rights Act (HB 105), which bans discrimination on the basis of pregnancy in public places and lodging establishments. The bill's sponsor is Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana.

-- Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, will discuss proposed changes to the "stand your ground" self-defense law at a news conference. His bill (SB 130) is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon.

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