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Politics

What's Going on the Week of Aug. 11

August 12, 2019 - 8:00am

Follow the money.

A cliché? Sure. But in the world of Florida government and politics, it’s also a pretty good rule to follow.

That will be on display during the coming week when state political candidates and committees face a deadline for disclosing July financial information and lobbyists have to provide details about their compensation in the year’s second quarter.

Combined, the reports will show tens of millions of dollars flowing through the political system, often in large chunks from deep-pocketed donors.

Just as a taste, Friends of Ron DeSantis, a political committee that plays a key role for Gov. Ron DeSantis, has already reported that it pulled in $340,000 in July --- after collecting $713,000 in June and $430,000 in May. Contributions in July included $125,000 from money manager Paul Tudor Jones, a co-founder of the Everglades Foundation, and $50,000 from Amscot Corp., a major payday lender.

In a less-political way, big money will also be on the table during the coming week when a panel of economists scour data and come up with a revised estimate of state general revenue.

The economists’ deliberations aren’t the most exciting thing to watch, but they are important. General revenue plays a key role in funding Florida’s schools, health programs and prisons, and lawmakers rely on the estimates when they negotiate the state budget.

MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2019

EASTERN FLORIDA COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Eastern Florida State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Monday, 9 a.m., Eastern Florida State College, Melbourne Campus, Public Safety Institute, 3865 North Wickham Road, Melbourne.)

TAMPA BAY REGIONAL COUNCIL MEETS: The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council will meet after holding a legislative agenda meeting. (Monday, legislative agenda meeting at 9 a.m., with council meeting at 10 a.m., Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, 4000 Gateway Centre Blvd., Suite 100, Pinellas Park.)

SCHOOL TRUST FUND DISCUSSED: The Revenue Estimating Conference will take up issues such as an “outlook” for the State School Trust Fund. (Monday, 10 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Gilchrist, Collier, Suwannee and Lake counties. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., Gilchrist County Library, 105 N.E. 11th Ave., Trenton. Also, 1 p.m., Everglades City Hall, 102 North Copeland Ave., Everglades City. Also, 1:30 p.m., Branford Public Library, 703 N.W. Suwannee Ave., Branford. Also, 3 p.m., Cooper Memorial Library, 2525 Oakley Seaver Dr., Clermont.)

BACK-TO-SCHOOL HAIRCUTS OFFERED: Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, will help host a back-to-school event that will offer free haircuts. (Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Killa Kutz Barbershop, 5875 Oakland Park Blvd., Lauderhill.)

FINANCIAL AID ON TABLE: The Education Estimating Conference will consider student financial-aid issues. (Monday, noon, 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

ENERGY CONSERVATION EYED: The Florida Public Service Commission will start what could be a multi-day hearing about energy-conservation goals for electric utilities. The hearing will include Florida Power & Light, Gulf Power Co., Florida Public Utilities Co., Duke Energy Florida, the Orlando Utilities Commission, JEA and Tampa Electric Co. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

CLIMATE CHANGE AT ISSUE: U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Florida Democrat who chairs the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, will discuss the impact of climate change on the future of Florida agriculture. (Monday, 2 p.m., Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, 1714 S.W. 34th St., Gainesville.)

MINIMUM WAGE, UTILITY OVERHAUL EYED: The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will discuss proposed constitutional amendments that would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and overhaul and deregulate the electric-utility industry. The Florida Supreme Court recently issued an order that will allow state economists, who meet as the Financial Impact Estimating Conference, to produce analyses about the impacts of the proposed constitutional amendments on the state and local economy and the state budget. Economists early this year produced what are known as “financial impact statements” about the amendments’ potential effects on state and local government revenues and costs. But the Legislature this spring passed a law that also directs analysis of impacts of proposed constitutional amendments on the state and local economy and the state budget. (Monday, 3:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

RODRIGUES SPEAKS TO GOP WOMEN: State Rep. Ray Rodrigues, an Estero Republican who is running for a Senate seat in 2020, is slated to speak to the Lee Republican Women Federated. (Monday, 5:15 p.m., Pinchers, The Marina at Edison Ford, 2360 West First St., Fort Myers.)

GRUTERS SPEAKS TO PINELLAS GOP: Florida Republican Chairman Joe Gruters, a state senator from Sarasota, is slated to speak during a meeting of the Pinellas County Republican Party. (Monday, 7 p.m., Feather Sound Country Club, 2201 Feather Sound Dr., Clearwater.)

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS DUE: State political candidates and committees are required to file reports showing finance activity through July 31.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2019

ELECTIONS COMMISSION MEETS: The Florida Elections Commission will meet. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

SUWANNEE WATER BOARD MEETS: The Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board will meet. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., district headquarters, 9225 County Road 49, Live Oak.)

CHAMBER HOLDS MILITARY SUMMIT: The Florida Chamber Foundation will begin the two-day Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit, with topics that include “Rebuilding Tyndall” and “Keeping Florida the Most Veteran Friendly State.” Speakers are expected to include Rep. Mel Ponder, R-Destin; Jamal Sowell, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida; Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida; and Danny Burgess, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Hyatt Regency Jacksonville, 225 East Coastline Dr., Jacksonville.)

ST. JOHNS WATER BOARD MEETS: The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board will meet after holding committee meetings. (Tuesday, committees start at 10 a.m., with full board at 11 a.m., district headquarters, 4049 Reid St., Palatka.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Pasco, Dixie and Broward counties. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. Also, 10:30 a.m., Dixie County Library, 16328 S.E. U.S. 19, Cross City. Also, 11 a.m., Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.)

JACKSONVILLE COLLEGE BOARD MEETS: The Board of Trustees of Florida State College at Jacksonville will hold a workshop and a regular meeting. (Tuesday, workshop at noon, meeting at 1 p.m., Florida State College at Jacksonville administrative offices, 501 West State St., Jacksonville.)

BROWARD COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Broward College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Willis Holcombe Downtown Center, 111 East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.)

VISIT FLORIDA PANEL HOLDS CALL: The Visit Florida Industry Relations, Small Business and Rural Development Council will hold a conference call. (Tuesday, 1 p.m. Call-in number: 1-877-853-5257. Code: 498546042.)

STATE ROAD EXTENSION AT ISSUE: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a “kickoff” meeting about a study related to the extension of State Road 56, from U.S. 301 to U.S. 98 in Pasco County. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Zephyrhills City Hall, 5335 Eighth St., Zephyrhills.)

PALM BEACH COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Palm Beach State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth Campus, Multi-Media Board Room, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth.)

FLORIDA GATEWAY TRUSTEES MEET: The Florida Gateway College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 5 p.m., Florida Gateway College, Administration Building, Lake City.)

LAKE COUNTY LAWMAKERS HOLD TOWN HALL: Members of the Lake County legislative delegation will take part in a town hall meeting about legislative issues. Expected to participate are Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala; Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland; Rep. Brett Hage, R-Oxford; Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills; and Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Tavares Civic Center, 100 East Caroline St., Tavares.)

GRANT SPEAKS TO YOUNG REPUBLICANS: State Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, is scheduled to speak to the Pinellas County Young Republicans. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.)

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2019

SCHOOL SAFETY AT ISSUE: The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was created by the state after the February 2018 mass shooting at the Parkland high school, will meet in Broward County. Topics are expected to include compliance with school-safety requirements passed by the Legislature after the shooting. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., BB&T Center, Chairman’s Club, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise.)

CHAMBER HOLDS MILITARY SUMMIT: The Florida Chamber Foundation will hold the final day of its Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit. Topics are expected to include “Partnering and Investing in Military Communities” and “Florida’s Legislative Focus to Support Bases & Missions, Expand Our Military and Defense Marketplace, and Honor and Support our Veterans.” Speakers are expected to include Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze; Sen. Tom Wright, R-New Smyrna Beach; Rep. David Smith, R-Winter Springs; and Ken Lawson, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Hyatt Regency Jacksonville, 225 East Coastline Dr., Jacksonville.)

GENERAL REVENUE ESTIMATES UPDATED: A panel of state economists, meeting as the Revenue Estimating Conference, will update general-revenue estimates. General revenue, which includes such things as sales taxes, plays a critical role in funding education, health and prison programs. The economists periodically update the estimates, which ultimately are used in developing the state budget. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

CANNABIS CHIEF SPEAKS AT AGRICULTURE EXPO: The two-day Citrus Expo and Vegetable and Specialty Crop Expo will begin, with speakers expected to include Holly Bell, cannabis director for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The event, hosted by AgNet Media, also will include a panel discussion about water-quantity and water-quality issues. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Lee Civic Center, 11831 Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers.)

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT ON TABLE: The University of West Florida Board of Trustees will take up issues including a collective bargaining agreement with the United Faculty of Florida. (Wednesday, 9 a.m. Central time, University of West Florida, UWF Conference Center, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola.)

PSYCHOLOGY BOARD HOLDS CALL: The Florida Board of Psychology will hold a conference call. (Wednesday, 9 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 564341766.)

UNEMPLOYMENT CASES CONSIDERED: The state Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission will meet. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission, 101 Rhyne Building, 2740 Centerview Dr., Tallahassee.)

CENTRAL FLORIDA REGIONAL COUNCIL MEETS: The Central Florida Regional Planning Council will meet in Highlands County. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., CareerSource Heartland, 5901 U.S. 27 South, Suite 1, Sebring.)

REFUGEE ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Orlando Area Refugee Task Force will meet. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Engelwood Neighborhood Center, 6123 La Costa Dr., Orlando.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Jackson, Glades, Sumter and Marion counties. (Wednesday, 10 a.m. Central time, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, 4318 Lafayette St., Marianna. Also, 10 a.m., Glades County government, 500 Avenue J S.W., Moore Haven. Also, 10 a.m., Laurel Manor Recreation Center, 1985 Laurel Manor Dr., The Villages. Also, 2 p.m., Marion County Library, Freedom Branch, 5870 S.W. 95th St., Ocala.)

MEDICAID PROVIDERS AT ISSUE: The Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a meeting about the Medicaid provider enrollment policy. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Building 3, Tallahassee.)

ST. JOHNS RIVER COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The St. Johns River State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., St. Johns River State College, St. Augustine Campus, Criminal Justice Multipurpose Room, 2990 College Dr., St. Augustine.)

DEVELOPMENT FINANCE BOARD MEETS: The Florida Development Finance Corp. Board of Directors will meet. (Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., Florida Development Finance Corp., 156 Tuskawilla Road, Suite 2340, Winter Springs. Call-in number: 1-646-741-5292. Code: 1126486866.)

TOURISM PROJECTS DISCUSSED: The Visit Florida Marketing Council will hold a conference call. (Wednesday, 3 p.m. Call-in number: 1-646-876-9923. Code: 7653187802.)

LOBBYIST COMPENSATION REPORTS DUE: Lobbyists face a Wednesday deadline for filing reports about their compensation from April 1 through July 30.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2019

CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK BOARD MEETS: The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling is slated to meet in Orange County. (Thursday, 8 a.m., DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Airport, 5555 Hazeltine National Dr., Orlando.)

SCHOOL SAFETY AT ISSUE: The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was created by the state after the February 2018 mass shooting at the Parkland high school, will meet in Broward County. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., BB&T Center, Chairman’s Club, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise.)

CITIZENSHIP ISSUE ANALYZED: The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will hold a workshop on potential financial impacts of a proposed constitutional amendment about the citizenship of voters. The political committee Florida Citizen Voters is seeking to place the proposal on the November 2020 ballot. The proposal would change part of the state Constitution that now says, “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.” The proposal would change that wording to: “Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.” (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

FAMU PRESIDENT EVALUATED: The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees will hold a retreat that will include discussion of President Larry Robinson’s evaluation and goals. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., The Westin Tampa Waterside, 725 South Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa.)

DEFENSE ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Florida Defense Support Task Force, which works to protect and expand Florida’s military installations and role, will hold a conference call. (Thursday, 9 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 262492927.)

SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY BOARD HOLDS CALL: The Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology will hold a conference call. (Thursday, 9 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 346983002.)

HEALTH CARE CLINICS AT ISSUE: The Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a meeting about certificate of exemption from licensure as health-care clinics. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Building 3, Tallahassee.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Orange, Miami-Dade and Sarasota counties. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Bithlo/Christmas Neighborhood Center for Families, 18510 Madison Ave., Orlando. Also, noon, West Flagler Library, 5050 West Flagler St., Miami. Also, 1 p.m., Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice.)

VOTING-RIGHTS LAWSUIT ADVANCES: U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle will hold a scheduling conference in a lawsuit challenging provisions of a new Florida law that would carry out a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. The law requires felons who have served their time behind bars to pay court-ordered fees, fines and restitution before their voting rights can be restored. Voting- and civil-rights groups maintain that the law is unconstitutional because it creates a “poll tax.” Proponents of the law, however, contend it is more lenient than the language of the constitutional amendment. (Thursday, 11 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-684-8852. Access code: 3243416. Security code: 0815.)

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS CONSIDERED: The Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a meeting about the Medicaid payment methodology for county health departments. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Building 3, Tallahassee.)

DAYTONA STATE TRUSTEES MEET: The Daytona State College Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet after holding a workshop. (Thursday, workshop at 1 p.m., with board meeting at 2 p.m., Daytona State College, New Smyrna Beach-Edgewater Campus, 940 10th St., New Smyrna Beach.)

PRIMARY ELECTIONS PROPOSAL EYED: The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will hold a workshop on potential financial impacts of a proposed constitutional amendment that would revamp state primary elections. The political committee All Voters Vote is seeking to put the proposal on the November 2020 ballot.  Under the proposal, all registered voters would be able to cast ballots in primaries, regardless of political affiliation. The two candidates getting the most votes in each primary would advance to the general election. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

NUNEZ, CONGRESSMEN AT LOBSTERFEST: Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez and Florida Republican Congressmen Matt Gaetz and Brian Mast are slated to be among the speakers during the Republican Party of Palm Beach County’s annual “Lobsterfest” event. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., The Polo Club of Boca Raton, 5400 Champion Blvd., Boca Raton.)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2019

FPL PRESIDENT SPEAKS IN ST. JOHNS: Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light, is scheduled to speak during a St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council breakfast. (Friday, 8 a.m., World Golf Hall of Fame, Shell Hall, 1 World Golf Place, St. Augustine.)

ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN AT ISSUE: The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will hold a workshop on potential financial impacts of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban possession of assault-style weapons in Florida. The political committee Ban Assault Weapons Now is trying to get the issue on the November 2020 ballot. The assault-weapons issue has long been controversial, but Florida lawmakers have repeatedly rejected calls from gun-control activists to impose a ban. The ballot proposal would define assault weapons as “semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.” (Friday, 8:30 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

FAMU TRUSTEES MEET: The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees will meet after holding a series of committee meetings. (Friday, committee meetings start at 8:30 a.m., with full board at 11:30 a.m., The Westin Tampa Waterside, 725 South Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa.)

UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS RELEASED: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will release July unemployment numbers. (Friday, 10 a.m.)

TRIUMPH GULF COAST BOARD MEETS: The Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors, which helps administer money from a settlement with BP after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, will meet. It is expected to consider pending applications by the Franklin School District for career training; by Santa Rosa County for an ad valorem tax reduction and infrastructure assistance; and by the Walton Economic Development Alliance for U.S. 331 infrastructure. (Friday, 10:30 a.m. Central time, Walton County Commission Chamber, Freeport Business Park, 842 Highway 20 East, Unit 118, Freeport.)

SENIOR SCAMS TARGETED: The Florida Department of Financial Services will hold one in a series of "Be Scam Smart" workshops to help seniors avoid financial scams. (Friday, 11 a.m., Baker County Council on Aging, Friendship Center, 101 East Macclenny Ave., Macclenny.)

CORCORAN SPEAKS IN PANHANDLE: Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran will speak to the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club. (Friday, 11:30 a.m., Skopelos at New World Landing, 600 South Palafox St., Pensacola.)

HEALTH TRANSPORTATION DISCUSSED: The Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a workshop about non-emergency transportation services. (Friday, 2 p.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Building 3, Tallahassee.)

STATE GOP GATHERS IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA: The Republican Party of Florida will start a two-day quarterly meeting. (Friday, 3 p.m., Sandestin Beach & Golf Resort, 9300 Emerald Coast Parkway, Miramar Beach.)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2019

HART DISCUSSES BUDGET PROCESS: State Rep. Dianne Hart, D-Tampa, will hold an event to discuss the state appropriations process and how to apply for state funding. (Saturday, 11 a.m., Dr. Carter G. Woodson PK-8 Leadership Academy, 8715 North 22nd St., Tampa.)

BILIRAKIS HONORED: U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., will be honored during a Statesman of the Year Dinner hosted by Young Floridians for Opportunity and the Pinellas County Young Republicans. (Saturday, 6 p.m., Feather Sound Country Club, 2201 Feather Sound Dr., Clearwater.)

Comments

TAXPAYERS: Standby this entire article, and watch as your politicians and special interest appointees "direct & control the flow of your taxes" over the "waterfall of self-serving oblivion"~~~~~

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