Gov. Rick Scott kicked off the second week of the 2017 Legislative Session by signing the death penalty fix into law. Days later, the Senate voted 25-15 to approve a bill by Sen. Rob Bradley that shifts the burden of proof in “Stand Your Ground” cases. The House companion has already cleared its first committee, and is awaiting a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee.

After two whirlwind weeks to start the 2017 Legislative Session, the third week is getting off to a slow start, at least for the Florida Senate. Senators have no meeting on their schedule Monday, but that doesn’t mean their chamber will be empty. The Constitution Revision Commission isscheduled to hold an organizational meeting there starting at 2 p.m.

Senators might have a long weekend, but House members aren’t so lucky. The House has a busy day planned, with appropriations subcommittees scheduled to discuss, among other things, member projects. 

Florida House of Representatives

The House Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee will discuss a billby Rep. Clay Ingram that makes it clear the Public Service Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to require power lines be buried.

The House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to discuss aproposal to give school districts some wiggle room when it comes to voter-approved class size requirements.

Meanwhile, the House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee will consider a bill to help kids who are victims of human trafficking.

Florida Senate

The Senate will begin debate on a bill to repeal a Prohibition-era law requiring liquor stores be separated from grocery and other retail goods when it goes into session Tuesday. 

Expect a packed committee room when the Senate Health Policy Committee meets on Wednesday. Sen. Dana Young, the committee’s chairwoman, has scheduled a workshop on several proposals to implement the 2016 medical marijuana constitutional amendment. 


The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee will take up Sen. Bill Galvano’s so-called spill bill. The proposalaims to improve public notification after a pollution incident. Galvano filed the bill after high-profile incidents involving a sinkhole in Polk County and sewage discharges into Tampa Bay.  


Senators will consider a bill by Sen. Anitere Flores to eliminate the insurance industry tax credit, while lowering communications service tax on cell phone and cable services. The proposal stumbled last week in the committee, when Sen. Kelli Stargel postponed a vote on the measure. 

Public Assistance

Public assistance programs will be up for debate when the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee meets. Members are scheduled to discuss a bill by Rep. Dane Eagle that makes changes to the state’s public assistance program, including increasing penalties for failing to comply with work requirements. 


The House will begin debate on a bill by Rep. Jason Fischer that creates a statutory civil cause of action for a person injured by an act of terrorism.

The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee will take up a bill by Sen. Greg Steube to allow people with concealed weapon permits to store firearms with security officers in courthouses. 


The House holds a floor session Wednesday, and is expected to begin debate on abill by Rep. Bryan Avila that would repeal the laws allowing red light cameras.

The Senate Transportation Committee will take up a bill by Sen. Rene Garcia to make texting while driving a primary offense.