Though most of the faces are the same, the dynamics will be different. Lawmakers are ready to assert more independence from Gov.
Scott's legislative agenda is relatively modest -
New legislative leadership is in place: House Speaker
Many of the major debates from a year ago have carried into this year, including whether to accept billions from the federal government to expand health insurance for low-income Floridians and how to overhaul the state's patchwork of gambling regulations. But newer issues have also risen to the top of the agenda, including developing a comprehensive water policy and implementing a new constitutional amendment forcing
Here is a closer look at those issues - and others likely to command
The one major issue that both the
Budget and Taxes
The two centerpieces of
More Floridians voted for Amendment 1 on the statewide ballot last November than for any candidate for statewide office. Three-quarters of the electorate supported the amendment, which requires
Lawmakers are already holding hearings about delays in implementing last year's "Charlotte's Web" legislation, which allows for the limited use of a non-euphoric strain of marijuana. And with
If the House budges on some form of
Everything depends on the House. The Senate last year passed a plan that would have accepted billions of dollars for
There may be no thornier issue politically this session than Common Core, the national education standards implemented this year in
With higher tuition apparently off the table, schools across the state will be seeking even bigger chunks of general revenue money from
The committee assignment that turned the most heads in
There already appears to be broad support for changes to local government pension programs that would, among other provisions, give local governments and their unions more flexibility to address unfunded pension liabilities. But supporters of state pension reform will likely to have to wait for at least two more years, until there is turnover in the Senate.
A long-running battle over the size of the state's
The stars could be aligning for a deal between the state's taxi companies and
Following the killings by police of
Led by lawmakers from the
Late in last year's session, the sponsor of a bill to allow grocery stores to sell liquor - without maintaining a separate store with its own entrance - conceded defeat and pulled his bill from consideration. Before he did, Sen.
Some hope that
A consensus appears to be forming to allow brewers to sell beer in popular half-gallon "growlers." But distributors and retailers are still pushing lawmakers to tighten a legal provision that allows microbreweries to sell their products directly to consumers, a much more controversial issue. There is also talk about trying to clamp down early on sales of "powdered alcohol" - an encapsulated form of alcohol that's mixed with water to produce a cocktail.
> Sen. Anitere Flores (R-