From the Herald-Times Tallahassee Bureau:
It's the final week of the 2014 legislative session and as all racing fans know, there will be burnouts and duels, surprise developments and sneaky moves but it all comes down to the finish, sine die, on Friday.
Monday promises to be busy as House and Senate leaders put the finishing touches on the $75 billion budget deal and we hear more about the prospects a rumored special session on gambling. Here are five things to watch:
-- Gov. Rick Scott meets with child protective investigators in Jacksonville and we expect him to announce his new Department of Children and Families secretary to replace outgoing, interim Secretary Esther Jacobo.
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-- The Florida Senate breathes hope into a bill sought by families with children suffering from intractable epilepsy as it votes on SB 1030, legalizing certain strains of marijuana extract for medical purposes. The bill is expected to pass the Senate but faces a steep hurdle in the House where leaders there are not yet persuaded Florida can do it safely.
-- Emergency health care will also be the focus in the Senate where SB 1276 by Sen. Denise Grimsley comes up for a vote. The bill will allow three hospitals whose trauma centers are being challenge -- including Blake Medical Center in Bradenton -- to remain open but face new fee restrictions.
-- The battle of the beer steins continues to brew as the Senate takes up SB 1714 to impose restrictions on craft breweries that want to compete with the well-lobbied big guys.
-- In the House, legislators will take up SB 542 intended to expand the state's private flood-insurance market by allowing homeowners to buy smaller policies in an effort to find lower-cost options than that available from the National Flood Insurance Program.