Wednesday: Five things to watch in Tallahassee
Another jam-packed day awaits in the Florida Legislature Wednesday as lawmakers debate guns, schools and water.
Here are five things to watch:
* The Senate convenes its first session since opening day to take up a series of bills including one to move Florida's presidential primary to the third Tuesday in March for 2016, SB 7036.
* The Senate will also take up a bill by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that would allow special provisions for gun owners in state-declared emergencies. The measure, SB 290, would allow people without concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns during the first 48 hours after emergency evacuation orders are given.
* Education choice becomes the focal point of the Senate K-12 Committee which takes up a bill to give parents more flexibility in their children's education. The measure, SB 1552, by Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, would require school districts to allow parents to enroll their children in any public schools that have not reached capacity and require school districts to give parents the opportunity to request specific teachers under certain circumstances.
* A House proposal to make vast changes to the way the state regulates water policy gets a hearing in the Senate. The workshop on the wide-ranging issue will be held by the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.
* The debate over the implementation of Amendment 1 continues in the Senate as the Appropriations Committee takes up a series of bills intended to provide the framework for the preservation of land and water as required by the new constitutional provision. The bills: SB 576, SB 578, SB 580, SB 582, SB 584, and SB 586.
--MARY ELLEN KLAS, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau