The week ahead in state and local government: April 22-26

Rep. Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, left, and Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando join Gov. Rick Scott, right, in greeting guests prior to Scott delivering his State of the State address Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee, Fla. The Florida Legislature convened for its annual 60-day session. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Photo by Phil Sears

Rep. Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, left, and Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando join Gov. Rick Scott, right, in greeting guests prior to Scott delivering his State of the State address Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee, Fla. The Florida Legislature convened for its annual 60-day session. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

— Here’s a look at some of the events and major Southwest Florida local government meetings that could generate news reports in the coming week:

Today

■ The Collier County Tourist Development Council will vote to approve a work order to start dredging at Doctor’s Pass. The council meets at 9 a.m. in the County Commission chambers, third floor, Collier County Government Center, 3299 U.S. 41 East.

■ Shane Simpkins, convicted last month in the April 2011 murder of Estero grandmother Mary Ann Zarb, is scheduled for sentencing at 3 p.m. in Lee County. A jury found Simpkins, 25, guilty of killing the 64-year-old at her home, dumping her body near the Lee-Charlotte county border and cashing $25,000 of her checks.

■ The Naples Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board meets at 9 a.m. in City Council chambers at 735 Eighth St. S. in downtown Naples.

■ The Senate Rules Committee gives a final look at several measures. One makes it harder for the mentally ill to buy guns (SB 1000); another that has been a bit controversial is a bill (SB 1318) that would create a public records exemption for records involved with complaints against agency employees. Also before the panel is a bill dealing with bullying in schools (SB 626). It’s at 2 p.m. in the Senate Office Building.

Tuesday

■ This year’s Take Stock in Children class graduates at 7 p.m. at Mooring Park’s Bower Chapel. The Take Stock program, run by Champions For Learning, pairs local students with mentors who help them through their high school careers. The students pledge to maintain academic and behavioral standards, including remaining drug and crime-free. As a reward for successfully completing the program, they earn college scholarships. During Tuesday’s ceremony, about 35 students and their mentors will celebrate with their families and donors.

■ Collier County commissioners will hear a presentation from the Collier County Clerk’s Office on an audit of the Freedom Memorial. Board members also will discuss hiring professional real estate services to assist the county with the purchase, sale, lease and management of the county’s real estate holdings. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the commission chambers on the third floor of the Collier County Government Center, 3299 U.S. 41 E.

■ Lee County commissioners will meet for their regular meeting at 9:30 a.m. in commission chambers in the Old Lee County Courthouse in downtown Fort Myers.

■ The state has a hearing on Lee Memorial’s application to build an 80-bed hospital in Estero/Bonita Springs. The meeting is from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m at Hodges University’s campus on Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

■ There are, so far, potentially 46 bills on tap for Senate Appropriations, with the committee slated to meet for nine hours. The Senate approach (SB 1844) to expanding health care for low-income Floridians by using the Florida Healthy Kids Corp., is before the committee. Another measure (SB 980) aims to take away one of the biggest criticisms of the teacher merit pay system, that some teachers are evaluated based the scores of kids they don’t teach. The bill would change that. It starts at 9 a.m. in the Knott Building.

■ The House has a floor session planned — the first of four for the week. The special order calendar currently includes the bill making changes to the early learning system (HB 7165); the underground natural gas storage bill (HB 1083), and a bill requiring notice of fracturing chemicals being used if they ever are (HB 743). It starts at 10:30 a.m. in the House chamber.

■ Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet will consider a series of issues, including proposed 2013-14 rates for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which provides reinsurance to property insurers. It starts at 9 a.m. in the Cabinet meeting room.

Wednesday

■ Naples Design Review Board will meet at 9 a.m. in City Council chambers at 735 Eighth St. S. in downtown Naples.

■ A bill (SB 1770) that is aimed at reducing the number of people covered by state-backed Citizens Property Insurance, in part by allowing its rates to go up by a degree some say could dramatic, is still waiting for a vote in the Senate. There is a meeting at 9 a.m. in the Senate chamber.

■ The House will be back on the floor for a five-hour floor session, with the agenda to be determined early in the week. It begins at 10:30 a.m. in the House chamber.

Thursday

■ The Senate has a floor session scheduled, starting at 9 a.m. in the Senate chamber.

■ The House will be back on the floor for a five-hour floor session that starts at 10:30 a.m. in the House chamber.

Friday

■ Naples will celebrate Arbor Day with a tree planting in Fleischmann Park at 9 a.m. at 1600 Fleischmann Blvd. The planting will include Councilman Bill Barnett and Arborist Joe Boscaglia.

■ The Senate is scheduled to meet starting at 9 a.m. in the Senate chamber.

■ The House will be back on the floor for a five-hour session starting at 10:30 a.m. in the House chamber.

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