5 things to watch Tuesday at the Florida Legislature

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on April 22, 2014 

Expect a flurry of activity in the Capitol today as lawmakers make a final push to pass their bills.

-- The House is in session at 10:30 a.m. Members will vote on a bill preventing insurance companies from discriminating against gun owners (HB 255). They will also decide whether to change the way school systems enter into contracts with new charter schools (HB 7083). -- Also up for a hearing: HB 169, which would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. Several health groups have come out against the bill, saying it would block local governments from regulating the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco products.

-- The Senate won't be on the floor, but members of the Appropriations Committee will have a day-long meeting. Among other controversial proposals, they will discuss a bill to legalize non-euphoric strains of marijuana for limited medical use (SB 1030), as well as a sweeping rewrite of the proposed child welfare bill (SB 1666).

-- The Senate Appropriations Committee will also consider SB 1114, which would overhaul the Florida Retirement System. Pension reform has been a top goal for Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford for the past two years. But it's not clear that even this bill, which is watered down from Weatherford's initial proposal, has enough support to pass in the Senate.

-- The Cabinet is scheduled to meet. Gov. Rick Scott has invited veterans -- one of whom is from St. Petersburg -- to testify on the conditions at VA hospitals. Scott has been critical of President Barack Obama on the issue after CNN news reports cited mistreatment of some veterans. .

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