The Florida Legislature kicked off this week and over the next 60 days they will be making a lot of decisions that will ultimately affect many of us.
Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, has filed SB 1368. The bill among other things would suspend the school grading system for a specified period of time to be determined by a task force.
Some others are:
• Revision of the school accountability system, initiatives affecting charter schools, regulations of early learning programs and tying budget increases for higher education to performance are also on the agenda.
• Reducing the tax rate applied to the retail sale of direct-to-home satellite services.
• Ethics reforms, for more transparency especially when it comes to lobbying special districts.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers are proposing bills that would legalize a different form of cannabis, giving medical patients an alternative treatment.
The Gaming Control Board is wanting to invite casino companies to negotiate opening one destination casino resort in Miami-Dade County and another in Broward County, subject to approval in a countywide vote.
Gretna Creek Entertainment is in the midst of this bill discussion. The outcome could be interesting.
There’s a bill that authorizes a person to use force, except deadly force, in defense of property.
A big issue is state employee pension reform. It will affect many that live here in Gadsden County.
This is just a sampling of the over 1,000 bills that will be processed. Most will die in committees, but a few will filter through and we will have new laws.
It is hard now, especially with the tremendous growth in South and Central Florida, for Gadsden County to be heard.
But I would recommend that if you have concerns about something in the upcoming bills that you contact our two legislators, Sen. Bill Montford and Rep. Alan Williams, and voice your feelings.