This week in Florida politics

By NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Gov. Ron DeSantis, as he began his first term

Gov. Ron DeSantis, as he began his first term

After taking office in January, Gov. Ron DeSantis is still three years away from a potential re-election campaign.

But in politics, the money chase rarely ends.

So when DeSantis’ political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, files a finance report with the state in the coming days, it is expected to detail receiving more than $700,000 in contributions in June. The money, according to a list of contributions posted on the committee’s website, has come in chunks as large as $100,000.

The June haul comes on top of $430,000 that the committee raised in May.

State political candidates, committees and parties face a Wednesday deadline to disclose how much money they had received and spent as of June 30.

DeSantis’ committee won’t be alone in posting big numbers. For example, a committee led by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, raised at least $375,000 in June, according to a list on its website. Simpson is slated to become Senate president after the 2020 elections, making him one of the most-influential political figures in the state.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2019

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Osceola County. (Monday, 1 p.m., Advance Community Outreach Center, 2260 East Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee.)

STATE DEMOGRAPHICS EYED: The state Demographic Estimating Conference will consider a Florida demographic forecast. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2019

ABORTION REPORTING AT ISSUE: The Agency for Health Care Administration will hold a meeting about a rule for clinic incident reports related to second-trimester abortions. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Building 3, Tallahassee.)

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.)

STORM HARDENING PLANS CONSIDERED: The Florida Public Service Commission will take up a series of issues, including approval of storm-hardening plans for Florida Power & Light, Tampa Electric Co., Duke Energy Florida, Gulf Power Co. and Florida Public Utilities Co. Utilities develop the plans to help their electrical systems better withstand hurricanes and other storms. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

DUKE SOLAR PROJECTS EYED: The Florida Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on a plan by Duke Energy Florida to pass along costs to customers for solar-power projects in Gilchrist, Highlands and Volusia counties. The plan is an outgrowth of a 2017 base-rate settlement that allows Duke to recover solar-project costs, though the utility has to show that the projects are reasonable and cost-effective. Duke plans to build a 74.9-megawatt facility in Gilchrist County, a 45-megawatt facility in Highlands County and a 74.5-megawatt facility in Volusia County, according to the proposal. (Tuesday, hearing will follow a 9:30 a.m. regular Public Service Commission meeting and internal affairs meeting, Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

FPL IRMA COSTS AT ISSUE: The Florida Public Service Commission will hold a hearing to consider Florida Power & Light’s costs in restoring power after Hurricane Irma in 2017. FPL and the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, reached a settlement last month on about $1.3 billion in Irma-related costs — and a process to better track expenses during future storms. Utilities typically are allowed to recoup storm-restoration costs from customers through tacking on extra charges to monthly electric bills. But utilities also have to go before the Public Service Commission to justify the details of the costs. FPL says it spent $1.375 billion to restore electricity after Hurricane Irma blew through the state. But in filings as recent as late May, the Office of Public Counsel, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group and the Florida Retail Federation questioned hundreds of millions of dollars in costs. The settlement, which was joined last month by the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, would resolve the cost issues if it is approved by the Public Service Commission. Earlier, FPL decided to use savings from a 2017 federal tax overhaul to cover the Irma restoration costs, rather than adding charges to customers’ monthly bills. (Tuesday, hearing will follow a 9:30 a.m. regular Public Service Commission meeting, an internal affairs meeting and a Duke Energy Florida solar-project hearing, Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT ANALYZED: The Education Estimating Conference will analyze enrollment issues in the pre-K through 12th-grade system. (Tuesday, 9:30 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 Miami-Dade and Orange counties. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 N.W. First St., Miami. Also, 10 a.m., Taft Community Center, 9450 South Orange Ave., Orlando.)

ROUSON, DIAMOND DISCUSS HOUSING ISSUES: State Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, and Rep. Ben Diamond, D-St. Petersburg, are expected to take part in a roundtable discussion about affordable housing. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Sunshine Center, 330 Fifth St. North, St. Petersburg.)

ST. JOHNS WATER BOARD MEETS: The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board will meet after holding committee meetings. (Tuesday, committees start at 10:15 a.m., with full board estimated to start at 11 a.m., district headquarters, 4049 Reid St., Palatka.)

PATRONIS AT ASSISTED LIVING DEDICATION: State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is expected to take part in a building dedication ceremony at a Nassau County assisted living facility. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Dayspring Senior Living, 553600 U.S. 1., Hilliard.)

LAKE-SUMTER COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Lake-Sumter State College Board of Trustees will meet after holding a Facilities Committee meeting. (Tuesday, committee meeting at 2:30 p.m., with full board at 4 p.m., Lake-Sumter State College, Leesburg Campus, Student Services Building, 9501 U.S. 441, Leesburg.)

FINANCIAL ‘OUTLOOKS’ EYED: The Revenue Estimating Conference will discuss what are known as post-session “outlooks” and measures that affect revenue. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

BAKER COUNTY PROJECT CONSIDERED: The Florida Gateway College Board of Trustees will take up a federal grant that would help in the development of a 25-acre project at the college’s Olustee location in Baker County. The project involves a training center for commercial truck drivers. (Tuesday, 5 p.m., Florida Gateway College, Administration Building, Lake City.)

WEKIVA PARKWAY WORK ON AGENDA: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold an open house in Seminole County about a 1.3-mile Wekiva Parkway project that would make improvements, including road widening, medians and bike lanes, along State Road 46. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Lakeside Fellowship United Methodist Church, 121 North Henderson Lane, Sanford.)

GOP LAWMAKERS DISCUSS SESSION: Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Rep. Nick DiCeglie, R-Indian Rocks Beach, are expected to discuss the 2019 legislative session during a meeting of the Pinellas County Young Republicans. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.)

BROWN HOSTS TOWN HALL: Rep. Kamia Brown, D-Ocoee, will host a town-hall meeting about the 2019 legislative session. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Pine Hills Community Center, 6408 Jennings Road, Orlando.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 10, 2019

NATIONAL ECONOMY DISCUSSED: The state Economic Estimating Conference will discuss issues related to the national economy. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

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.)

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ON TABLE: Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office will continue a series of roundtable discussions about mental-health and criminal-justice issues. (Wednesday, 11 a.m. Central time, Bay County Sheriff’s Office, 3421 North Highway 77, Panama City.)

SOUTH FLORIDA WATER BOARD HUDDLES: The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board will hold a workshop that will include discussion of water-quality conditions in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and watersheds. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., district headquarters, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach.)

REFUGEE ISSUES ON AGENDA: The Jacksonville Area Refugee Task Force will meet. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Jacksonville Baptist Association, 2700 University Blvd. South, Jacksonville.)

FORMER PUBLISHER HONORED: The Economic Club of Florida will honor former Tallahassee Democrat publisher Carrol Dadisman, the recipient of the club’s Stan Tait Memorial Award. Also taking part in the event will be Patrick Dorsey, publisher of the Austin American-Statesman and regional vice president of GateHouse Media. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., FSU Alumni Center, 1030 West Tennessee St., Tallahassee.)

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS DUE: State political candidates, committees and parties face a Wednesday deadline for filing reports showing campaign-finance activity through June 30.

THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019

SOUTH FLORIDA WATER BOARD MEETS: The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet and discuss issues such as a proposed tentative 2019-2020 budget. (Thursday, 9 a.m., district headquarters, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach.)

‘TANF’ PROGRAM ON TABLE: The Social Services Estimating Conference will consider caseloads and expenditures in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program. (Thursday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

SPACE FLORIDA PANEL HOLDS CALL: The Investment Committee of Space Florida will hold a conference call. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Call-in number: 1-866-528-2256. Code: 4875556.)

CAMPUS SAFETY DISCUSSED: The Association of Florida Colleges will start a two-day symposium on campus safety. Topics are expected to include lessons learned from Hurricane Michael and Broward College’s response to last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Palm Beach State College, Palm Beach Gardens Campus, 3160 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Broward and Taylor counties. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Southwest Ranches Town Hall, 13400 Griffin Road, Southwest Ranches. Also, 1 p.m., Taylor County Public Library, 403 North Washington St. Perry.)

SUPREME COURT RELEASES OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions. This will be the final regular opinion release before the court takes its annual summer break. (Thursday, 11 a.m.)

STARGEL GIVES SESSION UPDATE: Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, is slated to speak about the 2019 legislative session during a meeting of the Tiger Bay Club of Polk County. (Thursday, 11:30 a.m., Bartow Civic Center, 2250 South Floral Ave., Bartow.)

CITRUS NUMBERS UPDATED: The final citrus forecast for Florida’s 2018-2019 growing season will be announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Thursday, noon.)

DONALDS HOLDS TOWN HALL: Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, is slated to host a town-hall meeting. (Thursday, 5 p.m., Collier County Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples.)

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2019

MEDICAID EXPANSION WEIGHED: State analysts will continue a series of meetings to consider the financial impact of a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand Medicaid coverage. The proposal, which supporters hope to place on the November 2020 ballot, would expand Medicaid coverage to low-income adults who currently are not eligible. Florida lawmakers have repeatedly rejected such an expansion, which is optional for states as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. The proposed constitutional amendment would expand eligibility to people whose incomes are up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, an amount that varies depending on the number of people in a family. Under state law, the Financial Impact Estimating Conference is required to analyze how such initiatives would affect revenues and costs for state and local governments. A newly passed law (HB 5) also will require the analysts to evaluate impacts to the economy and the state budget. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

CAMPUS SAFETY DISCUSSED: The Association of Florida Colleges will conclude a two-day symposium on campus safety. (Friday, 9:30 a.m., Palm Beach State College, Palm Beach Gardens Campus, 3160 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens.)

HEARING AID SPECIALISTS AT ISSUE: The Florida Board of Hearing Aid Specialists will meet in Orange County. (Friday, 10 a.m., Renaissance Hotel, 6677 Sea Harbor Dr., Orlando.)

HEALTHY KIDS CONTRACT AWARDS CONSIDERED: The Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors will meet to consider contract awards for medical services and coverage. (Friday, 2 p.m., Florida Healthy Kids Corp., 1203 Governors Square Blvd., Suite 400, Tallahassee. Call-in number: 850-792-4925. Code: 69069502.


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