Sixty Days for 1.11.18 — A prime-time look at the 2018 Legislative Session
State Capitol Building in Tallahassee, Florida

State Capitol Building in Tallahassee

Sixty Days  — A prime-time look at the 2018 Legislative Session.

The Last 24

Good Thursday evening. An immigration rally roiled the Capitol rotunda, and the House issued subpoenas in a dispute with a video producer that did work for VISIT FLORIDA. It’s already been that kind of week.

Seeking sanctuary: Five amendments filed by Democrats were killed by the Republican-controlled House as the chamber prepared the controversial ‘sanctuary city’ ban bill for final passage.

Shot fired: Kathleen Peters seemingly got in a dig at Richard Corcoran by filing a bill to ban sitting lawmakers and their family members — including “siblings” — from working for lobbying firms. (Corc’s brother Michael is a lobbyist, duh.)

Rebel yell: Legislation to replace a statue of a Confederate general standing for Florida in the U.S. Capitol is heading to the Senate floor.

Optimistic much? A team of House Democrats Thursday rolled out a legislative package to combat the state’s opioid abuse epidemic.

Home rule: Tally mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum complained that lawmakers were overreaching into local governance in a news conference.

Training, sir!Florida senators could soon be required to complete mandatory sexual harassment training every year.

Low boil: The House voted to subpoena the financial records from the media company that produced “Emeril’s Florida” for VISIT FLORIDA.

Quote of the Day

“Optimism may not pass bills, but it’s a great start.” — House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee of Miami at a Capitol news conference, speaking on the Democratic legislative package on opioid abuse.

Bill Day’s Latest

3 Questions

State Rep. Jason Brodeur, a Sanford Republican, is finishing his fourth term in the Florida House and running for the Florida Senate seat that will be vacated by state Sen. David Simmons in 2020. The president of the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce talked about his legislative priorities in 2018.

FP: Health Care Appropriations has a ton of items on its agenda. What should be the top priorities?

JB: From a budget standpoint, we will first look to make sure eligible individuals are receiving services. Hurricanes Irma and Maria put a bit of a strain on our budget — from the explicit costs of providing more health and human services to a larger than anticipated population to the implicit costs of things like the overtime paid to our DCF workers who are in charge of registering and providing SNAP Cards to all those new enrollees. All of those costs must be paid for before we can start looking at new programs.

We will look to convert to our Prospective Payment System (PPS) in nursing homes. As we have standardized costs in hospitals with Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) and Enhanced Ambulatory Patient Grouping (EAPGs), I believe this is our next step in efficiency.

Additionally, I believe House health approps had 206 individual member projects filed, which is the exact opposite of “small government.” Member projects should serve a need not met by government agencies, should serve a large number of people from a larger region, and ideally would have some kind of local matching component to it. I don’t view it as the job of the taxpayers in Escambia County to have to pay for a new roof for a facility in Broward — that’s Broward’s job.

FP: After hearing Mike Carroll talk about the challenges faced by Florida’s Department of Children and Families’ child protective investigators, what do you think should be done?

JB: I think we should have more CPIs. It’s one of the hardest jobs in human services and our tenure isn’t great. These are not very high-paying jobs and the hours are long and difficult. I think we need to take some of the strain out of that system.

FP: From the perspective of your seats on the ethics and rules committee, do you expect the Legislature to address issues relating to sexual misconduct?

JB: We already had a policy on sexual misconduct.  And we expanded it when we adopted our Rules in Org Session. And we’ll probably have some new proposals this Session, but I haven’t seen any come forward yet.

Lobby Up

Some random notes: Alex Villalobos, a Republican who served in the Legislature 1993-2010, has registered to lobby for Cuban Museum, Inc.

The facility, based in Miami, aims to “document, showcase and interpret the art, culture, and history of Cuban-Americans and Cubans around the world — in other words, the Cuban diaspora,” its website says.

Also, Tallahassee lobbyist Reggie Garcia registered to represent Brisk Coffee Roasters USA, “one of the largest independent roasters in the Southeastern United States, with offices in Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Atlanta,” its website says.

It also bills itself as “100 percent” woman and Hispanic owned.

Breakthrough Insights

The Next 24

There’ll be a floor Session to follow your morning cereal. And some other stuff:

A Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) committee will hear a controversial proposal that provides more legal standing for Floridians when environmental problems happen. That’s at 8 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.

The Joint Committee on Collective Bargaining meets. That’s also at 8 a.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.

The House will hold a floor Session. Both chambers convene at 10:30 a.m.

A CRC committee will discuss scheduling ahead of their second statewide tour. That’s at 12:15 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.

Another CRC panel will consider a proposal that ends the use of public financing for statewide candidates. That’s at 1 p.m., 301 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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