Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Tesla, the “electric cars, solar panels and clean energy storage” company, got a big win in Florida from state utility regulators on Wednesday.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) issued a final order that Tesla’s leasing of solar electric equipment to residences — known as its SolarLease program — “will not be deemed … a sale of electricity.”
The commission also said Tesla’s “offering to lease solar electric equipment to residential electricity users … will not cause (it) to be deemed a public utility,” and its customers also won’t be “subject to (state) regulation.”
Why is this a big deal for the Palo Alto, California-based company? If it had been determined to be “selling electricity,” that would have subjected Tesla to oversight by the PSC, which regulates investor-owned utilities in the state.
“Tesla’s SolarLease program provides for residential electricity users to lease solar (panels) from Tesla, but SolarLease does not involve any payment for, or purchase of, electricity by a lessee,” the company explained in last year’s filing.
Here’s the clincher: “Because of the requirements of investors who will provide financing for Tesla’s SolarLease program in Florida, Tesla is compelled to seek the requested statement as a practical, real-world business necessity,” it added.
The PSC granted similar opinions for Sunrun and Vivint Solar.
“Matt Gaetz under investigation by Florida Bar over Michael Cohen threat” via Lachlan Markay and Sam Stein of the Daily Beast
“Why this Florida Republican voted to terminate Trump’s national emergency” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times
“NYT reporter shames Marco Rubio for silence on Trump’s attacks on press while defending Venezuelan journalists” via Brad Reed of Raw Story
“The boys of ‘Old Florida’ make way for the women” via Lloyd Dunkelberger of the Florida Phoenix
“UCF scandal prompts lawmakers to call for stricter university rules” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel
“Manny Diaz files another bill to expand private school scholarships” via Jeffrey Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times
“Mike Greico files first bills to legalize recreational pot” via Samantha Gross of the Miami Herald
“Experts testify on algae solutions at Florida delegation meeting” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics
“Ex-prisons chief pulls out of New Mexico job” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida
“Florida Chamber launches new institute on school, workplace safety” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics
Quote of the Day
“It was NOT my intent to threaten, as some believe I did. I’m deleting the tweet & I should have chosen words that better showed my intent. I’m sorry.” — U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, after a tweet some took as his threatening former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
Bill Day’s Latest
Wake Up Early?
The Revenue Estimating Conference will discuss highway safety revenues at 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building.
The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions at 11 a.m. (Releases in recent weeks, however, have been canceled or delayed because of the addition of three new justices to the court.)
The Social Services Estimating Conference will discuss the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage, or FMAP, which helps determine how much federal money is available for the state Medicaid program. That’s at 1 p.m., 117 Knott Building.
House Public Integrity & Ethics Chairman Tom Leek is expected to discuss leadership during a Leadership Daytona reception. That’s at 5:15 p.m., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Student Union, 600 South Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach.
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley is slated to speak to the Republican Federated Women of South Florida. That’s at 6:30 p.m., Boca Country Club, 17751 Boca Club Blvd., Boca Raton.