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Daily Digest for Thursday, 2/9

 Daily Digest for 2/9 [Listen or Download]

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Groups are out of place all over the state today. The Florida Cabinet will meet at the State Fairgrounds in Tampa and members of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will be in town today to lobby South Florida lawmakers on local business issues.


Five Stories To Think About Today

 * It’s Statewide Black Business Day. The State of Black Florida 2012 program continues Thursday with business owners in Tallahassee for a discussion of economic issues in the black community, featuring Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll at 9.a.m. Also, the Black Caucus will host a workshop on voter suppression and redistricting.

* The Senate is in session from 3:30 to 6 p.m., and is slated to vote on legislative redistricting maps. The vote is the final step before the congressional proposal goes to the Governor for approval and the maps go to the attorney general and then Florida Supreme Court. The House is in also in session today.

* Several Senate budget subcommittees meet to pass budget recommendations. The subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development, which has been turbulent this week as senators have targeted local “member projects” on the budget, meets at 9 a.m. to pass $8.5 billion in budget recommendations.

* The Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee meets at 10:15 a.m., and senators will discuss a last minute measure that would split the Lakeland campus of the University of South Florida into its own university, called Florida Polytechnic.

* The House Health & Human Services Committee meets at 8:15 a.m. to discusses HB511, a controversial bill about worker’s compensation. The bill seeks to close a drug repackaging loophole, but it pits the business lobby against the medical community.


Three Issues You Missed Yesterday

 * Florida state senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla is facing an ethics charge that he failed to properly report his finances.

* The working Senate budget calls for more local funding and less state money for hospitals.

* Lawmakers voted unanimously to save a prison from closing in Jefferson County on Wednesday, an act that could have devastated the economy there.


Who To Watch Today/Quotable Quotes

 * Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) might be getting a second shot at 12 of his 13 amendments being heard on sB1852. Several make critical funding changes, a hot topic among senators.