Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 3.5.18

Florida Capitol 2

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Ana Ceballos, Daniel McAuliffe, and Jim Rosica.

It was going to be THE defining issue of the 2018 Legislative Session.

The Florida Senate would ultimately lose two of its most prominent members as a result of sex scandals. It was bad. It dominated headlines. And something just had to be done about it.

Sen. Lauren Book and Rep. Kristin Jacobs announced they were sponsoring legislation to address some of the issues. Both Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran offered their support. That doesn’t happen every day, but it was a clear sign that this legislation had “priority” written all over it.

And the crowd cheered.

Sen. Lauren Book and Rep. Kristin Jacobs.

Last week, the House passed a modified version of the legislation with Rep. Jennifer Sullivan as sponsor and Jacobs as prime-co.  But that’s hardly a detail worth noting as the bill passed without a dissenting vote (114-0) and only a smattering of headlines.

And it must be noted that with only a handful of days left in Session, there seems to be no movement on the Senate side.

It would be a tremendous failure if the very body that witnessed the loss of two of its leaders were to let Sine Die come and go without addressing what was supposed to be a defining moment of the 2018 Session.

— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —

— @LMower3: Last week, 5,000 people were in Tallahassee demanding gun reform after the #Parkland shooting. Today, when the Senate debates the gun bill on a rare Saturday session? Less than 100.

— @MaryEllenKlas: As a gauntlet of students and parents say “no marshal plan,” @gregsteube all but runs past in Senate corridor.

— @MarcACaputo: Show me the money! During the marathon 7-hours of gun debate in the FL Senate, the building was devoid of lobbyists. But 100 show up to budget conference with special interest proviso & hometown spending (e.g. $100k for the Miami Intl Horse and Cattle Show) on the line

— @RichardCorcoran: President [Donald] Trump is right, it’s time we arm our teachers. Our Marshal Program is just common sense.

— @JKennedyReport[email protected]FLGovScott has told Legislative Black Caucus chief @PerryThurstonJr that he may be calling Legislature back. Still not a fan of marshal program that could arm teachers.

— @MDixon55: Florida House is likely not taking the gun bill up until Tuesday or Wednesday next week. In what I’m sure is a coincidence, that’s after the state budget is finalized.

— @CarlosGSmith: My question to our Orlando roundtable of students, teachers, parents + Pulse survivors — by show of hands how many would vote for HB 7101, incl. Marshal Plan to arm teachers? No one raised their hand. NOT. ONE. HAND.

— @DavidHogg11: You must treat every election like it’s the last because if you don’t, it could be. #VoteThemOut

— @Ryan_N_Wiggins: Was just handed a Bloody Mary with a paper straw. I know of only one person who really understands the depth of my disappointment. @Rob_Bradley

— @AP: Roger Bannister, first to run sub 4-minute mile, dies at 88

— DAYS UNTIL —

2018 Winter Paralympics begins — 3; Sine Die (maybe) — 4; St. Patrick’s Day — 12; March For Our Lives/#NeverAgain gun violence protest — 19; Major League Baseball Opening Day — 24; Easter — 27; NFL Draft begins — 52; Close of candidate qualifying for federal office — 59; Solo: A Star Wars Story premier — 79; Close of candidate qualifying for statewide office — 109; Primary Election Day — 176; College Football opening weekend — 180; General Election Day — 246; ‘Hamilton’ comes to the Straz Center — 344.

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— CAPITOL INSIGHT —

After marathon Saturday session, Senate readies gun reform bill for final passage” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida — The sweeping bill, SB 7026 (18R), would pump millions of dollars into expanding mental health programs and bolstering school safety, but gun reform measures have gotten much of the attention and blowback. The proposal was drawn up following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland … In a rare Saturday floor session that lasted eight hours, much of the time was spent on Republicans swatting a long list of Democratic amendments that would gut or weaken the proposal’s key features. A debate over an amendment to remove the plan to arm school staff, known as the Marshal Program, proved the most controversial. Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon made an impassioned plea for GOP leaders to remove it from the package. Braynon, who is African-American, says the program makes classrooms more dangerous, especially for African-American children. The plan also puts the Legislature at odds with the Governor, who has said on numerous occasions he opposes a plan that includes arming teachers. Braynon’s amendment failed on an 18-20 vote.

Rick Scott and the gun debate could be one of the key issues in the 2018 midterm elections.

Gun debate shapes up as decisive issue in Florida elections” via John Kennedy of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Democrats say Republican resistance to banning military-style weapons and high-capacity gun magazines us energizing voters. But many GOP lawmakers say they will proudly campaign on their defense of gun rights. Along with congressional races, three Cabinet seats are up for grabs, and Democrats see gun-control as driving voters in dozens of campaigns for the state Legislature, where the party has been a minority for more than two decades. Republican leaders in Tallahassee have repeatedly rejected bids by Democrats to consider an assault-style weapons ban and fueled more divisions by promoting a “school marshal” program that would allow specially trained teachers to carry weapons on campus voluntarily. Rick Scott and the Legislature’s black caucus, which rarely sides with the Republican governor, have voiced opposition to the idea of arming teachers.

Lawmakers punish NRA’s corporate foes” via Marc Caputo and Matt Dixon of POLITICO — Gun-rights Republicans in the Florida House are starting to punish Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Delta Air Lines after the corporations severed ties with the National Rifle Association. Over the past 24 hours, Florida lawmakers, borrowing from counterparts in Georgia, have targeted an aviation fuel tax reduction benefiting Delta and proposed late-night budget language to rebid a state rental car contract held by Enterprise. “We would do this to any company that wants to engage against political speech, whether it’s against the NRA or Planned Parenthood,” said state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia … “Anyone can engage in political speech. But we have a duty to watch and make sure government money doesn’t underwrite it.” … NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said she was not involved in the matter, but said she backed it. “Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to benefit businesses who discriminate against a segment of the taxpayers,” she said. … Privately, one Republican familiar with the budget maneuvers described them as a minor gift to the NRA, which opposes a new bill with gun control proposed after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla.

Tom Lee slams ‘third-world’ GOP Senate leaders over House education bill” via Daniel Ducassi of POLITICO Florida — And Lee made clear to reporters afterward that his frustrations run far deeper than the bill. He said he’s “fed up” and he’s not gonna take it anymore. Lee’s stand rankled Senate leadership. “It was entertaining political theater,” Senate budget chairman Rob Bradley told POLITICO after the floor spat. “It was totally devoid of facts and detached from reality, but it was entertaining.” … The flash point centered around a controversial provision tucked into the House priority K-12 omnibus bill, FL HB 7055 (18R). It’s a provision that’s a top priority for House Speaker Corcoran, who had pushed for an even broader bill affecting most non-police public sector unions — and one that has the state’s largest teachers union up in arms. … One part of the process that has angered the bill’s critics was the fact that the union provision was actually taken out of the bill during a committee, with Lee joining Democrats in the vote to amend it, only for the provision to be tacked on again at the next committee stop. He said he’d had “several members” call him asking for advice on the bill, “and one by one, one project in the budget by one project in the budget, they were convinced to just vote for it.”

— MORE CAPITOL INSIGHT —

Governor would have sole discretion over FDOT head appointment under proposal” via Ana Ceballos of Florida Politics — A quiet change proposed Thursday under a wide-ranging commercial motor vehicle bill would strip the power of a transportation panel and give the governor sole discretion over the appointment of the state’s top transportation official. State law tasks the Florida Transportation Commission to recommend three names to the governor when it comes to choosing the next Secretary of Transportation. The governor then decides from that short-list. But a “strike-all” amendment filed under SB 1104 by the bill sponsor, Sen. Jeff Brandes, would delete the role of the FTC … If the language moves on to become law, the governor’s choice would still be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Hurricane housing programs axed from budget” via Danny McAuliffe of Florida Politics — Budget leaders Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Carlos Trujillo told Florida Politics on Saturday evening that the Legislature’s budget will not fund the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program (HHRP) and the Rental Recovery Loan Program (RRLP). Instead, dollars dedicated to affordable housing will go to the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and the State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL). “We have limited funds,” Bradley said. “Post-Parkland, everybody is taking a haircut. We agreed that SHIP and SAIL are going to be our focus when it comes to affordable housing.”

Lawmakers approve post-hurricane KidCare aid” via Christine Sexton of the News Service of Florida — Legislators agreed to spend $20,339 in state general revenue for Florida KidCare premiums to cover monthly copayment requirements. Justin Senior, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, said the money will draw down $522,034 in federal matching funds and will cover the costs of about 6,000 children in the 48 counties who were disenrolled from the program for not paying premiums. Following the hurricane, Gov. Scott agreed to extend for 30 days the time frame to pay premiums for October coverage. The monthly premiums range from $15 to $20 based on family size and income. House and Senate Democrats, as well as child health advocates, called on the Scott administration to cover the required premiums with tax dollars. But Beth Kidder, a deputy secretary at the Agency for Health Care Administration, said in October that “tens of thousands” of families in the Florida Healthy Kids program paid their premiums on time and that waiving the requirements could reward people who dragged their heels. “Why would you give a freebie to those who did not act responsibly in the beginning?” she said at the time.

Jay Trumbull, with Rick Scott.

Trauma center drama could be coming to an end” via The News Service of Florida — The House and Senate on Friday took up trauma bills — HB 1165 and SB 1876, respectively — and prepared them for possible votes early next week. The bills, sponsored by Rep. Jay Trumbull and Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young would end years of litigation surrounding state decisions about whether to allow trauma centers to open. The bills would settle disputes across the state and set up a methodology to prevent future disputes, Young said. … Under the bills, the Department of Health would be required by Oct. 1 to create an 11-member Florida Trauma System Advisory Council.

Bills to let treated sewage get pumped into aquifer close to approval” via Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times — A pair of bills quietly moving through the Florida House and Senate have the potential to change the quality of the state’s water supply. The bills — HB 1149 and SB 1308 — encourage replenishing the fresh drinking water in the underground aquifer with treated sewage. Clean Water Network of Florida director Linda Young calls the pair of bills, which are similar in language, “the Dirty Water Bill of 2018.” … To inject it into the aquifer, though, would require cleaning the effluent to the point that it would meet federal drinking water standards … Those standards don’t require screening out antibiotics, antidepressants and other drugs … During a January committee hearing on the Senate bill, Sierra Club lobbyist David Cullen warned legislators that if the bills pass it could harm the aquifer, “and once the aquifer is contaminated, it’s broken.” … So far both bills have passed all their committee stops and are awaiting a floor vote.

Blaise Ingoglia withdraws septic tank amendment — Ingoglia withdrew his amendment to HB 1149 that would have delayed state restrictions on septic tanks installed near springs from going into effect for four years, but before doing so he warned lawmakers that constituents would come calling once they saw higher bills. “Your constituents may not know what’s going to hit them right now,” he said. “But I promise you in six or seven months they will be knocking down your door asking, ‘What happened?'” Ingoglia said nitrogen-reducing septic tanks, which run between $16,000 and $19,000, are three times as expensive as normal units and the cost of complying with septic regulations would run $1.5 billion in Hernando County alone. Ingoglia said the delay would give septic tank manufacturers more time to develop less costly tanks that comply with the regulations, but environmental groups said the delay would be damaging to Florida springs.

Senate backs changes in payday loans, workers’ comp” via Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida — The Florida Senate approved revamping regulations for payday loans … Senators voted 31-5 to pass a measure (SB 920) that would allow payday lenders to make larger loans for longer periods of time. … The bill would allow the businesses to make “installment” loans up to $1,000, with repayment over 60 to 90 days. Current law limits the high-interest loans to $500 for periods of seven to 31 days. Supporters say the proposal was prompted by potential changes in federal regulations that could affect the types of smaller-dollar, shorter-term loans made by payday lenders in Florida. Also, supporters contend that payday loans play a key role for many low-income people who don’t have access to other types of credit. … But some consumer and religious groups have fought the proposal, arguing that payday loans can put borrowers in a “debt trap.”

Assignment editors — The Capitol Rotunda will house more than 1,000 shoes decorated and submitted by sexual assault survivors from across the state. The event, hosted by Lauren’s Kids and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV), aims to remove the stigma sexual assault survivors experience and bring an end to the violence. Slated to speak at the noon news conference is state Sen. Lauren Book; state Rep. Kristen Jacobs; Jennifer Dritt, Executive Director of the FCASV and advocates with Florida State University’s Victim Advocate Program.

— FOR YOUR RADAR —

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) has hit the airwaves to encourage Floridians to contact their lawmakers to vote yes on SB 90, which would make texting while driving a primary offense.

“Unfortunately, not even the most sophisticated automobile safety features can protect us from some of the biggest hazards on Florida roads today, including the ubiquitous use of smartphones while behind the wheel,” said Logan McFaddin, regional manager for PCI.  “That is why we are encouraging the Florida Senate to advance this public policy and bring Florida in line with the other 47 states who have passed similar legislation.  It is imperative that we institute policy changes needed to prevent hand-held technology from putting Florida families in more danger.”

In the radio spot, PCI talks about how in Florida, there were over 45,000 distracted driving crashes in 2015, resulting in over 39,000 injuries and over 200 deaths. “PCI warns these numbers are only climbing higher every day.  Don’t let someone you love be the next victim of distracted driving. This proactive, life-changing measure is a necessary step to creating safer roads and reducing insurance costs,” said McFaddin.

SB 90 by Gainesville Republican Keith Perry has stalled in its final committee of reference in the Senate, having passed its other three favorably.  A companion bill, HB 33 by Tampa Republican Jackie Toledo, has passed the full House and is in messages.

Click on the image below to listen to radio spot.

— NOTES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —

Scott to put in face time with GOP donors ahead of possible Senate run” via Sean Sullivan of The Washington Post — Scott plans to spend some time with influential Republican donors, ahead of a possible Senate campaign launch that could shake up the battle for the majority in the midterm elections … he was scheduled to be one of the speakers at the Republican National Committee’s spring donor retreat in Palm Beach … He spoke at the same event last year. After addressing the RNC, Scott was to head across the peninsula to Naples, where his home is, for dinner with donors to a super PAC he is chairing called “New Republican.” A Scott associate in contact with the governor predicted Scott could launch a Senate bid soon after the scheduled end of the Florida Legislative Session … Separately, a Republican frequently in touch with top GOP senators and officials said they were privately anticipating the same potential timeline.

Chris King releases video ad on Parkland, Pulse, seeking ‘transformation’” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — The 90-second video “This is the Year” includes footage of vigils held for the mass shootings and King giving a speech in which he talks about attending the vigils, and believes that the last two weeks must spark a transformation. The ad is being targeted to Democratic voters on Facebook across the state. “The next Governor of the State of Florida in my view has to be committed to transformation when it comes to gun safety,” King says. “So, let me make it very clear to you what this governor would do: I would not take money from the NRA. I would work hard to pass an assault weapons ban, as I said for my very first speech as (a candidate for) governor. I would stand up for universal background checks. I would work to pass Medicaid expansion because there is no bigger idea for caring for the needs of the mentally ill in this state.”

Philip Levine no longer eager to talk about his Bill Clinton bromance” via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times — “I don’t really need anybody campaigning for me. I’m campaigning for myself,” Levine said at the Tampa Jewish Federation’s annual President’s Dinner. “I want the people of Florida to campaign for me.” Sexual misconduct and men abusing their authority is no longer tolerated in the way it was when Clinton stepped onto the national stage nearly three decades ago. Asked about Clinton in the context of #MeToo, Levine clearly wanted to talk about something else. “I have lots of friends, from all walks of life, and I’m very, very proud of my friends,” he said. Is he still very, very proud of his friendship with Clinton? “I’ve always been honored in the past for his support, but I think right now in this election I’m running solo,” he said.

More than 600 families, friends and supporters joined Adam Putnam at Ben Hill Griffin’s Peace River Ranch in Zolfo Springs.

Julio Gonzalez will run for Congress” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Gonzalez will seek the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, setting up a GOP primary fight with another conservative Sarasota County lawmaker. “It’s been a long time coming, but the day has finally arrived for me to take our fight for conservative principles and American exceptionalism to Washington, D.C.,” Gonzalez wrote in the email. “Bring your family, friends, and neighbors as I kick off OUR congressional campaign!” Gonzalez will face off in the GOP primary for the District 17 congressional seat against Sarasota state Sen. Greg Steube, another staunch conservative.

Journalist Maria Elvira Salazar joins race for Ros-Lehtinen’s seat” via Alex Daugherty of The Miami Herald — Miami broadcast journalist Maria Elvira Salazar is jumping into the Republican race for retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen‘s seat. “We all want a better country for our children, so we need to rise above the political rhetoric and divisions that are tearing our communities apart, and have the courage to respect and listen to others, even if we don’t agree,” Salazar said in a statement. “That is democracy at its best.” … “The district is totally winnable for the right candidate,” Ros-Lehtinen said late last year. “She could be the right candidate.” Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro is the only announced GOP candidate who has so far raised enough money for a viable campaign operation … Democrats are favored to flip Ros-Lehtinen’s seat after Hillary Clinton trounced Trump in the district that encompasses most of coastal Miami-Dade County in 2016.

Newly minted House District 89 candidate Tina Polsky.

Democratic candidate Tina Polsky switches House districts to run for Joe Abruzzo’s seat” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics — Polsky is one of four Democrats and two Republicans who had filed to run in House District 89 in northern Palm Beach County, seeking to succeed term-limited Republican state Rep. Bill Hager. Now she’ll be the first-in to seek to take HD 81 in western Palm Beach County. Polsky is a lawyer, a mediator and longtime civic activist. A wife and mother of two, Polsky holds volunteer leadership positions with the Anti-Defamation League and the Mitzvah Club, a local women’s organization with over 100 members which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local and national charities in the past three years.

— STATEWIDE —

Silencing Brightline: One-fourth of crossings to get no improvements” via Jennifer Sorentrue and Mahima Singh of the Palm Beach Post —  At 20 of 80 railroad crossings in Palm Beach County no upgrades will be made to keep motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians from maneuvering around lowered warning gates despite plans to silence train horns along the rail line now hosting the high-speed Brightline passenger service. Less than half the crossings will have the most restrictive safety barrier, known as quad gates, to cover all lanes of traffic on both sides of the tracks. The gates, at big intersections, create a fully closed barrier to block people from entering the crossing when a train is approaching. Another 20 crossings will have curbed-concrete medians, a safety feature that makes it more difficult for cars to maneuver around gates — even if they are not quad gates. Twelve will have both medians and quad gates. The quiet zone must meet a higher safety standard because trains don’t blow their horns at rail crossings. But federal guidelines don’t require that every crossing gets a safety makeover, officials said.

Jorge Mas and David Beckham’s plans for a new Miami soccer stadium may not be the right fit for Overtown. 

The new plan for a David Beckham soccer stadium may not fit on the Overtown site” via Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald — New Beckham partner Jorge Mas boasts of a bold, high-tech vision for a Miami soccer stadium. And that could get complicated. Mas also says the nine-acre site in Overtown that the Beckham group secured for the venue two years ago just isn’t large enough to match his ambitions. The comments from the new local face of Beckham’s five-year quest to build a Major League Soccer stadium in Miami are the most concrete evidence yet that the long-standing plan to play in Overtown may be changing. Mas and brother José, leaders of Miami-based infrastructure firm Mastec, joined the Beckham partnership late last year as the soccer star’s first local investors. In private meetings, they’ve been entertaining the possibility of the future MLS franchise playing somewhere other than on the current Overtown site. “They’re looking everywhere,” said Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade County, whose administration negotiated the pending sale of 3 acres of county land in Overtown for the current stadium site. “They’re looking at all different options.”

— D.C. MATTERS —

Charlie Crist’s Beach Drive condo sells for $1.35 million” via Susan Taylor Martin — Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have sold their Beach Drive condo for … $313,100 more than they paid for it three years ago. The Crists, who married in 2008 while he was governor and a Republican, announced their split shortly after he took his congressional seat as a Democrat early last year. There has been no activity in their divorce case since May, according to Pinellas County court records.

Gus Bilirakis legislation would help veterans sickened by exposure to wartime burn pits” via Howard Altman of the Tampa Bay Times — For years, tens of thousands of veterans suffering from their exposure to the burning of toxins in military trash pits across Afghanistan and Iraq sought official acknowledgment of a connection between the smoke and their health issues. … Bilirakis, the Tarpon Springs Republican, is developing legislation requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to assume that certain diseases arise from burn pit exposure when it makes decisions on compensating veterans. The legislation mirrors connections formally established to the defoliant Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War. A spokeswoman for Bilirakis … said efforts to pass the legislation could be bolstered by a recent ruling from a federal administrative court judge. … “We are hopeful that the recent court ruling will help strengthen the Congressman’s position that this is an issue that warrants immediate attention,” said Bilirakis spokeswoman Summer Robertson. “Veterans cannot afford to wait.”

— ALOE —

Disney pushes ‘Mulan’ to 2020, moves ‘Avengers’ up a week” via The Associated Press — Disney … is shifting some film releases around including moving “Avengers: Infinity War” up one week and pushing the live-action “Mulan” back almost a year and a half. … “Avengers: Infinity War” will now hit theaters on April 27, 2018. “Mulan” is set for March 27, 2020. The “Mulan” update recently found its lead in Chinese actress Liu Yifei after a yearlong search.

Publix giving pay raise to workers, boosts stock price” via Kyle Arnold of the Orlando Sentinel — Publix will raise wages for its hourly employees and some managers, a move that could help it compete with chains such as Target and Walmart that have made public announcements of pay increases. The Lakeland-based supermarket chain also boosted its stock price by nearly 13 percent to $41.40 ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings announcement scheduled for Thursday. Publix would not disclose how much the raises will be or what current wage ranges are. “We want to continue to invest in our most valuable asset — our associates,” said Dwaine Stevens, a company spokesman in an email. “So with this investment, we will increase the retail pay range for non-management positions as well as assistant department managers and department manager positions.” Publix has about 188,000 workers at 1,172 stores nationwide, according to its website.

Uber and Lyft think they can solve one of medicine’s biggest problems” via Carolyn Y. Johnson of The Washington Post — Ride-sharing companies have plunged into the health care business, seeing a big opportunity in ferrying the 3.6 million people who miss medical appointments each year to their doctors’ offices. On Thursday, Uber announced the public launch of Uber Health, a dashboard that will allow health care providers to schedule rides for patients. Lyft has crafted a number of partnerships … with health insurers, hospital systems and medical transport services … A study of nearly 800 Medicaid patients in West Philadelphia found that offering to schedule free Lyft rides to and from primary care appointments didn’t decrease the number of missed appointments compared to a group of people not offered the service. … Individual companies have reported benefits. … American Medical Response, a leading medical transportation company, has reduced complaints by 50 percent since partnering with Lyft. … Uber has been piloting its health service since last summer. One lesson learned from the experience is that many of the patients who use the service haven’t used Uber before and may not even have a smartphone.

What Paul Bradshaw is reading — “The Silicon Valley elite’s latest status symbol: Chickens” via Peter Holley of The Washington Post — In America’s rural and working-class areas, keeping chickens has long been a thrifty way to provide fresh eggs. In recent years, the practice has emerged as an unlikely badge of urban modishness. But in the Bay Area — where the nation’s pre-eminent local food movement overlaps with the nation’s tech elite — egg-laying chickens are now a trendy, eco-conscious humblebrag on par with driving a Tesla. In true Silicon Valley fashion, chicken owners approach their birds as any savvy venture capitalist might: By throwing lots of money at a promising flock (spending as much as $20,000 for high-tech coops). By charting their productivity (number and color of eggs). And by finding new ways to optimize their birds’ happiness — as well as their own. Like any successful startup, broods aren’t built so much as reverse engineered. Decisions about breed selection are resolved by using engineering matrices and spreadsheets that capture “YoY growth.” Some chicken owners talk about their increasingly extravagant birds like software updates, referring to them as “Gen 1,” “Gen 2,” “Gen 3” and so on. They keep the chicken brokers of the region busy finding ever more novel birds.

Happy birthday belatedly to Edward Briggs of RSA Consulting. Celebrating today is David Lawrence of The Children’s Movement of Florida and Melissa McKinlay.

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.



#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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