What’s Going on the Week of July 21 in Florida politics.

By NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Ronald Rubin and Jimmy Patronis

Ronald Rubin and Jimmy Patronis

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation ordinarily draws little attention.

But for the past two months, it has been in the center of a controversy stemming from allegations of sexual harassment against Commissioner Ronald Rubin, who has been suspended from his job leading the agency.

The controversy could come to a head Thursday, when Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet discuss an inspector general report about the allegations. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who first released details of the sexual-harassment complaint, has called for replacing Rubin.

But Rubin has fired back at Patronis, accusing him of political chicanery. While Patronis is a member of the Cabinet, the ultimate decision about Rubin’s fate will be made by DeSantis and the entire Cabinet.

Nevertheless, considering Rubin’s very public feud with Patronis, it’s probably a matter of when — not if — the Office of Financial Regulation will get a new commissioner.

MONDAY, JULY 22, 2019

FINANCIAL ‘OUTLOOKS’ CONSIDERED: The Revenue Estimating Conference will discuss end-of-year “outlooks” for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, the Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund and the State School Trust Fund. (Monday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

TRANSPORTATION ISSUES ON TABLE: State Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach, will host a workshop about transportation issues, with participants expected to include Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault. (Monday, 1 p.m., Florida International University, North Campus, Kovens Conference Center, 3000 N.E. 151st St., North Miami.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Lake County. (Monday, 1 p.m., Cooper Memorial Library, 2525 Oakley Seaver Dr., Clermont.)

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT ANALYZED: The Education Estimating Conference will analyze issues related to enrollment in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

HART HOSTS TOWN HALL: State Rep. Dianne Hart, D-Tampa, will host a town hall meeting. Other participants are expected to include Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg. (Monday, 6 p.m., C. Blythe Andrews Jr. Public Library, 2607 East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa.)

TUESDAY, JULY 23, 2019

NEW PLANE FOR GOVERNOR AIRED: The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will hold a meeting in which a negotiation team will make a recommendation for acquiring an airplane for Gov. Ron DeSantis. Former Gov. Rick Scott, the wealthiest governor in state history, used his own plane to travel the state. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., Florida Department of Law Enforcement headquarters, 2331 Phillips Road, Tallahassee.)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES ON TABLE: The Criminal Justice Estimating Conference will analyze issues in the criminal-justice system. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER BOARD MEETS: The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., district Brooksville office, 2379 Broad St., Brooksville.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Polk, Miami-Dade, Lee and Duval counties. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Northeast Polk Chamber of Commerce, 35610 U.S. 27, Haines City. Also, 9:30 a.m., Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 N.W. First St., Miami. Also, 10 a.m., Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library, 4820 Leonard St., Cape Coral. Also, 1:30 p.m., Bartow Chamber of Commerce, 510 North Broadway Ave., Bartow. Also, 2:30 p.m., Duval County Beaches Branch Library, 600 Third St., Neptune Beach.)

VOTER SUPPRESSION TARGETED: The Florida Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Right Florida Advisory Committee will hold a public hearing in Broward County on voter suppression and disenfranchisement in Florida. The committee is reviewing the implementation of a voter-approved constitutional amendment designed to restore the voting rights of felons who have completed their sentences. It also is looking at issues such as impediments to voting. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Broward County Main Library, 100 South Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale.)

CRUZ HOSTS JOB FAIR: State Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, is slated to host an annual job fair in Hillsborough County. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus gymnasium, 4001 West Tampa Bay Blvd., Tampa.)

GROUP DISCUSSES ADS, FLORIDA POLL: The progressive group Priorities USA will hold a media conference call to release new ads targeting President Donald Trump and to discuss results of a Florida poll. (Tuesday, 2:15 p.m. Reporters may contact Priorities USA for call-in information.)

JONES HOLDS TOWN HALL: State Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, is scheduled to hold one in a series of town hall meetings. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Miramar Tropical HOA, Miramar United Methodist Church, 2507 Utopia Dr., Miramar.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, 2019

JUDICIAL CANDIDATES INTERVIEWED: The 13th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission will interview applicants for two Hillsborough County circuit judge positions. The applicants are Michael C. Bagge’-Hernandez, Shelton Bridges, Sonya C. Colon, Travis J. Coy, Mary Lou Cuellar-Stilo, Constance Daniels, Wendy J. DePaul, Alissa M. Ellison, Jerry Martin Gewirtz, Gregory Green, Ingrid M. Hooglander, Eilam Michael Isaak, Matthew J. Jowanna, Susan Shorter Lopez, Troy Matthew Lovell, Paul S. Maney, Brigid A. Merenda, Antina L. Mobley, James S. Moody, III, Dawn Michelle Myers, Loretta Comiskey O’Keeffe, Sara K. Peacock, John A. Schifino, Monique Scott, Jared E. Smith, Matthew Alex Smith, Jason Paul Stearns and Alicia Raina Whiting-Bozich. (Wednesday, interviews start at 8:40 a.m., law offices of Bush Ross, P.A., 1801 North Highland Ave., Tampa.)

HIGHWAY SAFETY MONEY EYED: The Revenue Estimating Conference will analyze highway safety revenues. (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.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Hernando, Holmes, Washington, Miami-Dade, Bay and Hillsborough counties. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Brooksville Main Library, 238 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Also, 10 a.m. Central time, Holmes County Chamber of Commerce, 106 East Byrd Ave., Bonifay. Also, 11:30 a.m. Central time, Chipley City Hall, 1442 West Jackson Ave., Chipley. Also, 1 p.m., Community Resource and Information Fair 2019, Martin Luther King Office Building, 2525 N.W. 62nd St., Miami. Also, 1:30 p.m. Central time, Lynn Haven City Hall, 825 Ohio Ave., Lynn Haven. Also, 2 p.m., New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd., Tampa.)

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. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Gadsden County Senior Services, 79 Lasalle Leffall Dr., Quincy.)

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT ON AGENDA: The Education Estimating Conference will analyze enrollment in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

LAKE-SUMTER TRUSTEES MEET: The Lake-Sumter State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., Lake-Sumter State College, Leesburg Campus, Student Services Building, 9501 U.S. 441, Leesburg.)

I-95 INTERCHANGE AT ISSUE: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a “kick-off” meeting about a project involving an interchange at Interstate 95 and 10th Avenue North in Palm Beach County. (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. Lake Worth Beach City Hall, 7 North Dixie Highway, Lake Worth Beach.)

JONES HOLDS TOWN HALL: State Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, will hold one in a series of town hall meetings. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., Highland Gardens Civic Association, McNicol Community Center, 1411 South 28th Ave., Hollywood.)

THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2019

RUBIN FATE COULD BE DECIDED: Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet — made up of Attorney General Ashley Moody, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis — will meet. They are expected to discuss an inspector general report about Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner Ronald Rubin, who was suspended from his job after sexual-harassment allegations. Patronis has pushed to fire Rubin. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.)

TECO POWER PLANT AT ISSUE: Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet will decide whether to give a key approval to a Tampa Electric Co. power-plant project in Hillsborough County. Acting as the state Power Plant Siting Board, DeSantis and Cabinet members will consider an administrative law judge’s recommendation that they approve the project at the utility’s Big Bend Power Station.  Under the Tampa Electric plan, one old generating unit, known as Unit 2, at the Big Bend site would be shut down. Another old unit, known as Unit 1, would be upgraded as a natural-gas plant, eliminating the use of coal in the unit. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., and environmentalists have raised concerns about the project, pointing to emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.)

LAND PURCHASES EYED: Gov. Ron DeSantis and Cabinet members will consider spending just over $11 million of Florida Forever conservation funds to acquire more than 900 acres in three parts of the state. The pieces of land targeted for conservation are 717 acres within the Wakulla Springs Protection Zone in Wakulla County, 129 acres in Charlotte County and the 57-acre Fish Island in St. Johns County. Fish Island, the most expensive of the proposals at $6.5 million, is one of the last remaining undeveloped waterfront properties in St. Augustine. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.)

MEDICAID CASELOADS CONSIDERED: The Social Services Estimating Conference will consider caseloads in the Medicaid program. (Thursday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE DISCUSSED: The state Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee will meet. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Senior Resource Alliance, 988 Woodcock Road, Orlando. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 600513360#.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Broward, Manatee, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Miami-Dade, Sarasota and Highlands counties. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Broward Outreach Center, 2056 Scott St., Hollywood. Also, 9 a.m., Downtown Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. West, Bradenton. Also, 10 a.m. Central time, Gulf Breeze Area Chamber of Commerce, 409 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze. Also, noon, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 213 Carol Ave. N.W., Fort Walton Beach. Also, noon, The Miami Rescue Mission, 2031 N.W. First Court, Miami. Also, 1 p.m., Fruitville Public Library, 100 Coburn Road, Sarasota. Also, 2 p.m., Highlands County Government Center, 600 South Commerce Ave., Sebring.)

TRANSPORTATION PANEL HOLDS CALL: The Florida Transportation Commission is scheduled to hold a conference call. (Thursday, 10 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 421319736.)

GULF COAST COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Gulf Coast State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Gulf Coast State College, William C. Cramer, Jr. Seminar Room, Panama City.)

NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER BOARD MEETS: The Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet. (Thursday, 1 p.m., district headquarters, 81 Water Management Dr., Havana.)

TOBACCO MONEY EYED: The Revenue Estimating Conference will discuss money from a settlement with the tobacco industry. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

SECRETARY OF STATE AT MAIN STREET EVENT: Secretary of State Laurel Lee is scheduled to take part in an awards banquet that is part of the Florida Main Street annual conference. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant, 125 West Church St., Orlando.)

NORTH CENTRAL PLANNING COUNCIL MEETS: The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council will meet in Columbia County. (Thursday, 7 p.m., Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 213 S.W. Commerce Blvd., Lake City.)

FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019

PSYCHOLOGY BOARD GATHERS: The state Board of Psychology will meet in South Florida. (Friday, 8 a.m., Embassy Suites by Hilton, 1100 S.E. 17th St., Fort Lauderdale.)

ETHICS COMMISSION MEETS: The Florida Commission on Ethics will meet. Along with considering a series of cases, the commission will choose a chair and vice-chair for the coming year. (Friday, 9 a.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.)

GAMBLING MONEY ON TABLE: The Revenue Estimating Conference will analyze money from slot machines and Indian casinos. (Friday, 9 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 Orange and DeSoto counties. (Friday, 10 a.m., Eatonville Neighborhood Center for Families, 323 East Kennedy Blvd., Suite D, Eatonville. Also, 1 p.m., DeSoto County Government Center, 201 East Oak St., Arcadia.)

FREIGHT ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Florida Freight Advisory Committee, which advises the Department of Transportation, will hold a meeting about freight-related priorities, issues, projects and funding. (Friday, 10:30 a.m., MetroPlan Orlando, 250 South Orange Ave., #200, Orlando.)

OPTICIANRY BOARD HOLDS CALL: The Florida Board of Opticianry will hold a conference call. (Friday, noon. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 744469610.)

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