The week ahead in state and local government, March 4-9

Spellers leave the stage during a break in competition at the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Wednesday, May 30, 2012.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Spellers leave the stage during a break in competition at the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Wednesday, May 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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

Today

■ Local students will compete in the annual Collier County Spelling Bee. The participants made it to the competition by winning their respective school’s Spelling Bee. The winner will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. The Spelling Bee starts at 7 p.m. at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Administrative Center (5775 Osceola Trail, behind Barron Collier High School).

■ The Lee County Commission is holding its monthly Management and Planning meeting at 1:30 p.m in the commission chambers in the Old Courthouse in downtown Fort Myers. The items up for discussion include impact fee options, financing for the Minnesota Twins spring training facility improvements and a request from the Bonita Springs Fire District to run its own ambulance service.

■ House and Senate select committees that have been studying the federal Affordable Care Act will hold a joint meeting to hear an economic analysis of the law and the potential expansion of Medicaid. It’s 8:30 a.m. in the Capitol.

■ Police would need a warrant to seize information off any portable electronic device, such as a cell phone, under a bill (SB 846) that’s before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee at 3:30 p.m. on Monday in Tallahassee.

■ The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee takes up a bill (SB 600) that makes some changes to the law dealing with absentee ballots and the length of ballot questions that voters would see. It’s at 3:30 p.m. in the Capitol.

■ While little action is expected in the coming session on gambling, other than a potential moratorium on Internet Cafes, staff of the House Select Committee on Gaming and representatives from the Seminole Tribe of Florida are scheduled on Monday to discuss the state’s compact that gives the tribe exclusive gaming rights. It’s at 4 p.m. in the Capitol.

Tuesday

■ Collier County commissioners will discuss proposed changes to the animal control ordinance, the timing of traffic signals and the county’s new electronic plan submittal and digital plan review system during a 1 p.m. workshop. The workshop will be in commission chambers on the third floor of the Collier County Government Center, 3299 U.S. 41 East.

■ Lee County commissioners will hold their weekly commission meeting at 9:30 a.m. at the Old Courthouse in downtown Fort Myers.

■ The regular legislative session convenes. Gov. Rick Scott is scheduled to deliver the annual State of the State address. He is expected to speak about education, trumpeting his proposed increase in education spending and a hoped-for across-the-board pay raise for classroom teachers.

■ The Senate will be on the floor from 2 to 6 p.m. and will start with the top priority for Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville: a major bill (SB 2) that bans public officials from taking other state jobs, and gives the Ethics Commission more power. The House goes to the floor for votes in the afternoon.

Wednesday

■ Naples City Council will discuss the proposed installation of a webcam at the Naples Pier, among other items during their 8:30 a.m. meeting. After the City Council meeting, they will reconvene as the Community Redevelopment Agency to vote on extending the agency’s sunset date by 30 years. Both meetings will be held in council chambers, 735 8th St. S., Naples.

■ The Bonita Springs City Council meeting has been canceled because city leaders are traveling to Tallahassee to lobby state legislators on a proposed 2-year slot machine test at the local greyhound track.

■ The Senate Education budget subcommittee holds a budget work session and gets an update on class-size compliance by districts. It’s at 8 a.m. in the Capitol.

■ A bill that would restrict texting while driving is before the Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee. At its last stop, the measure, by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, was amended to allow texting while a driver is stopped at a red light or stuck in traffic. It’s at 2 p.m. in the Capitol.

■ A bill (SB 50) that would guarantee that members of the public have a right to speak at public meetings of certain bodies is before the Senate Rules Committee. The effort arose after members of the public complained they went to testify before local government commissions and boards and were denied the right to speak. A review determined that there’s no law that says people have a right to speak before government bodies, only that they must be able to attend. It’s at 4:30 p.m. in the Senate Office Building.

Thursday

■ Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet hold their regular meeting.

■ The Florida Supreme Court releases opinions.

■ The state Social Services Estimating Conference will meet to discuss projected Medicaid costs under the federal Affordable Care Act. A possible expansion of Medicaid is a controversial issue, and future costs are a key part of the debate. It’s at 1:30 p.m. in the Knott Building in Tallahassee.

Friday

■ The Florida Commission on Ethics is expected to take up a series of issues, including a complaint that Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, did not fully report financial information on 2009 and 2010 disclosure forms.

Saturday

■ NFL quarterback and former Florida Gator Tim Tebow speaks at a by-ticket-only event at the evening Naples Town Hall speaker series at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort at Tiburon in North Naples.

■ The Susan G. Komen 2013 Southwest Florida Race for the Cure 5K run and walk begins at 8 a.m. at Coconut Point mall, U.S. 41 and Coconut Road, in Estero.

The time changes to Daylight Saving Time next weekend.

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