5 things to watch at the Florida Legislature on Monday

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on April 21, 2014 

From the Herald-Times Tallahassee Bureau

TALLAHASSEE -- Lawmakers return to Tallahassee on Monday to begin the two-week sprint toward Sine Die.

Here are five things to watch:

-- The House is in session at 2 p.m. The lower chamber will debate a controversial education bill (HB 7083) that would limit school districts' authority to regulate charter schools by requiring the use of a standard contract. The Senate version (SB 1512) has been watered down, and now does little more than clarify that charter schools can be opened on military bases.

-- Also on tap for the House floor session: a debate on HB 629, which would create tougher rules for charitable organizations, professional fundraising consultants and professional solicitors. The bill was prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation.

-- The Senate Rules Committee will hear SB 918, a controversial abortion bill by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami. The meeting starts at 1 p.m.

-- Students from Florida State University, the University of Florida and the University of South Florida will rally outside Senate President Don Gaetz’s office at 2 p.m. to demand a floor hearing for SB 1400. The bill, which would allow some undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities, suffered a major setback Thursday when Senate Appropriations Chairman Joe Negron said his committee would not hear the bill.

-- At 4:30 p.m., the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will hold confirmation hearings for more than 100 executive appointees. The public servants up for consideration include Ronald A. Brise and Art Graham, who are nominated to the Florida Public Service Commission.

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