Five things to look for in Wednesday’s Legislative session


Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

On the second day, the Florida Legislature will get down to business. Here are five things to watch Wednesday:

•  A heavily-lobbied bill that would give a tax break to the Miami Dolphins stadium will be heard in the Senate Finance & Tax Committee. Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, filed the bill (SB 306) that would give tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money for stadium renovations, subject to approval by Miami-Dade voters in a county-wide election.

•  Voters could receive sample election ballots by email under a bill (HB 247) that the House Government Operations Subcommittee will consider as a paper reduction measure. A related bill (HB 249), also by Rep. Bryan Nelson, R-Apopka, would keep the email addresses of voters confidential. The First Amendment Foundation, an open government watchdog group, opposes the exemption, but supervisors of election say voters complain that they get email solicitations from vendors because their addresses are public.

•  The annual tug o’war over scope of practice issues between optometrists and ophthalmologists will heat up. A bill (SB 278) by Sen. Garrett Richter, D-Naples, will be debated by the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee. Optometrists have lobbied unsuccessfully for decades for the power to prescribe oral medications.

•  Plans for more faith- and character-based prisons in Florida will be considered by the Senate Civil and Criminal Justice Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island.

•  Gov. Rick Scott, Cabinet members and other statewide officials will address the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s leadership at the annual Chamber Days at the Hotel Duval in Tallahassee.

Herald/Times staff writer Toluse Olorunnipa contributed to this report.

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