TALLAHASSEE -- South Florida sports are in the spotlight and the Senate’s budget committee buckles down for a full day of voting on bills. Here’s what’s happening Thursday at the Capitol:
• The Miami Dolphins’ push for a bill to approve a tax-supported stadium expansion (SB 306) is up for a hearing in Senate Appropriations, its final committee hurdle before the Senate floor. This bill would make sports teams compete for a single pot of tax breaks.
• That’s just one of dozens of bills up for consideration. There’s also the campaign finance bill (SB 1382) that would eliminate committees of continuous existence (CCEs), a proposal that would allow foster children to decide if they want to stay in foster care until age 21 (SB 1036), and one that would allow people renewing motor vehicle registration forms or getting a driver’s license to donate $1 toward homelessness initiatives by checking a box.
• The House will go back into session with a flight of bills to consider, including some ready for a vote, such as an anti-Sharia law (HB 351). It’s Celebrate Life Day at the Capitol, and the House may mark it by voting on two bills that aim to protect unborn children. HB 759 makes killing an unborn child at any stage of gestation a criminal offense, and HB 845 requires physicians to sign affidavits stating the abortion procedure is not being performed based on race or gender preference.
• A measure that would allow a nursing home in the The Villages, a Central Florida retirement community, is up for a vote in the House Health and Human Services Committee, two days after the sponsor asked to postpone a vote on it (HB 1159).
• And for a bit of levity, University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larrañaga, AP Coach of the Year, will be on hand for pictures around the Capitol. He is hosted by Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, R-Hialeah, and Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens.