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Daily Digest for Wednesday, 1/18

Daily Digest for 1/18

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Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet have their first meeting of the New Year Wednesday as the House plans a busy day of meetings. Meanwhile, the Senate gets a rare mid-week break after lawmakers in that chamber finished up their redistricting debate a day early.


Five Stories To Think About Today

* Ash Williams -- The head of the State Board of Administration comes before the Governor and Cabinet for his annual review as the head of the state's investment portfolio.

* Universities -- The House Education Committee holds two meetings Wednesday to hear from six university presidents about proposals to revamp higher education and bring more emphasis to science and technology degrees.

* Public Hospitals -- A bill before the House Community and Military Affairs Subcommittee would open the door to the sale of public hospitals to private companies.

* Prisons -- The Senate Rules Committee holds the only Senate meeting scheduled for the day and will take up the controversial plan to privatize 18 Florida prisons in South Florida. A previous attempt was thrown out by a circuit court judge last year and this time legislators are attempting to resurrect the idea.

* Water -- The House Select Committee on Water Policy continues the debate on the future of water in Florida as it takes up a broad proposal to allow for developers to access alternative water supplies.


Three Issues You Missed Yesterday

* The Senate wins a bi-partisan vote for its redistricting map despite criticism. The maps passed 34-6 Tuesday afternoon, one day ahead of schedule.

* An all-star panel discussed Everglades restoration. Among the group were Gov. Rick Scott, NBC's Chuck Todd, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, artist Guy Harvey, former golf pro Jack Nicklaus, and former Sen. Bob Graham, who spoke earlier in the day about the Everglades.

* Barney Bishop, the former president and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida is one of five partners of a newly formed lobbying firm called Adams St. Advocates.


Who To Watch Today/Quotable Quotes

* "And this is not what we need to be remembered for: as the largest dog racing state in the country." -Sen. Maria Sachs (D-Delray Beach), at a press conference Tuesday about a pair of bills to end dog racing mandates in Florida.