Tallahassee gears up for final committee week before Session

florida capitol - looking up

There isn’t a name for the period of time before the calm before a storm.

For now, let’s call it “last committee week of the year.”

It, of course, includes a surplus of fundraising, which lawmakers can do during committee weeks but not during legislative sessions.

Departing lawmakers also continue to raise cash for their post-Legislature plans.

This week’s example: State Rep. Alan Williams, a Tallahassee Democrat, is having an event for his campaign to succeed Ion Sancho as Leon County’s elections supervisor.

A sizable contingent of the Capitol Press Corps surely will take a field trip across Monroe Street to the county courthouse on Tuesday.

That’s when Circuit Judge George Reynolds is scheduled to hold the first of two pretrial hearings in the state Senate redistricting challenge.

It’s now up to Reynolds to recommend a map of the 40 senatorial districts to the Florida Supreme Court.

Power struggles will come to rest on Wednesday.

Now that Republicans Joe Negron and Jack Latvala have buried the hatchet, Negron’s designation as Senate President for 2016-18 will happen Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Senate chambers.

It will be interesting to see what kind of leader the libertarian-leaning contrarian shapes up to be. He once backed a bill, now law, to limit law enforcement’s use of drones.

Thursday will bring another batch of Supreme Court opinions. Could this be the week that the justices finally opine in the congressional redistricting case, causing yet another tectonic tremor in state politics?

Meantime, legislative panels will do their usual grind, talking taxes, guns, (medical) pot, high school athletics, cohabitation and fracking (though not at once), Uber, lottery-tickets-at-gas-pumps, and even a few confirmation hearings.

On Friday, the Capitol rests. Unless you count the all-day webinar thrown by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

State officials will try to come up with a “mechanism for Florida first responders to work with the Federal agency, FirstNet, in the design of the public safety broadband network.”

Wonks never rest.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]


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