Sixty Days — A prime-time look at the 2018 Legislative Session:
The Last 24
Good Monday evening. It’s looking more and more like the state’s governor-in-waiting has given his imprimatur for a Sarasota Senator to next lead the state’s GOP, and Senate Democrats are clamming up about combating sexual harassment in the Capitol. Sixty Days says, if you see something, say something. Here’s your nightly rundown.
Gruters gold: Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis heaped praise on state Sen. Joe Gruters, a top contender to lead the Republican Party of Florida.
Harassment hassle: State Senate Democrats “don’t want to talk about new rules criticized by sexual harassment experts,” POLITICO reports.
Tribal taxing: A federal appeals court rejected arguments by the Seminole Tribe of Florida in a dispute about whether the state should be able to tax electricity used on tribal land.
Transition teaming: DeSantis announced this week’s meeting schedule for his Transition Advisory Committees. Locations were TBA, but a public conference call number will be made available for members of the public and news media.
Citrus’ challenges: WUSF reports that Florida’s citrus industry has faced plenty of adversity in recent years. But a co-op of local growers refuses to give up, getting creative with what they sell instead.
Experts eye algae: DeSantis’ agriculture and environmental advisory panel met at Florida State University to discuss water quality and supply issues facing the state, specifically toxic blue-green algae.
Quote of the Day
Mark Meadows “understands the oversight process, the media, and how to pick fights we can win … I lobbied the president the best way I know how. I made the Meadows case on Fox News.” — U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of North Florida, pulling for fellow Congressman Meadows — a North Carolina Republican — to be the next White House chief of staff for President Trump.
Bill Day’s Latest
Rep. Kim Daniels is in her second term representing Northwest Jacksonville’s House District 14. The Florida Chamber of Commerce recognized her as the most business-friendly Democrat in the Legislature. An evangelical preacher by vocation, she survived a spirited primary challenge this year. Daniels, the vice-chair of the Duval County Legislative Delegation, spoke with Florida Politics Monday.
FP: What bills are you carrying this session?
KD: I haven’t exactly decided yet. Because I want to communicate with the other legislators. I have a lot of ideas, (including) some of the bills that didn’t go through last year.
I really want to focus on criminal justice reform. I plan on being on the Judiciary Committee. Other than that, I’ve got to get in the atmosphere. I usually talk to the committee chairs and see what I can get heard and where I’m at, and I’m going to be making those decisions in the next couple of weeks.
FP: You’ve done a good job carrying things for the city and getting bills through generally in a Republican-controlled Legislature. What’s your secret in working with the other side of the aisle?
KD: I don’t think it’s a secret. I just sit back and listen. What I think helped me was being new. I didn’t have all my ideas on what I wanted to do. I kind of listened to the leadership on both sides and I got support [from] a lot from the Democratic side (such as Rep. Evan Jenne).
People like him, Leader Kionne McGhee, Rep. Cynthia Stafford … when you’re new, you’re just trying to learn. So I worked with a lot of people on the Democratic side to tell me what to do and what not to do … I didn’t go in and fight battles that weren’t mine. I sat back and listened and it worked out for me.
FP: You were primaried in 2018. While you prevailed, is there work to be done locally with the Democratic Party?
KD: You know what? Primaries don’t bother me at all. That’s what the process is all about. I think the more you’re primaried, the stronger you get. The ones who aren’t primaried, they have to worry, because they don’t have name recognition. So when you’re primaried and you win, you’re good.
But those who aren’t primaried, who sit behind the scenes and just get on the ballot, I think that’s scarier. Being primaried has been a blessing.
Uber has boosted its Tallahassee lobbying team for next year with the addition of insurance issue guru Katie Webb of Colodny Fass and alternative transportation whiz Chris Spencer of GrayRobinson.
Spencer is currently on leave from GrayRobinson until the inauguration, as he works on the Ron DeSantis–Jeanette Nuñez transition.
“Uber is excited to welcome these outstanding and well-respected firms to our lobbying team,” spokesman Javi Correoso said.
“Transportation continues to be a top-of-mind issue for Floridians and, as an innovative leader in the industry, Uber is focused on expanding transportation options for residents and tourists alike.”
Ride-hailing companies, in particular, will be paying attention to several issues that could pop up in the 2019 Legislative Session.
One is Medicaid transport, the booking and assigning of transportation for Medicaid patients to see their doctors.
Another is the regulation of autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, a passion of Spencer’s former boss, St. Petersburg Republican state Sen. Jeff Brandes.
And there’s the issue of “micro-mobility” options like bikes, scooters and even golf carts, which are becoming increasingly popular. Tampa, for example, is seeking proposals for companies to provide dockless, motorized scooter rentals throughout the city.
The Next 24
In the Legislature:
The House will hold a meeting for its members on ethics in the Legislature. That’s at 9 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol.
The House will hold orientation-type meetings that will include an introduction to the state budget, an introduction to House rules and an introduction to bill drafting. That’s at 10:15 a.m., budget meeting, Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol. Also, 10:15 a.m., rules meeting, 306 House Office Building, the Capitol. Also, 10:15 a.m., drafting meeting, 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.
The House will hold orientation-type meetings about the Medicaid program and governance and performance in the pre-K through 12th-grade system. It also will hold a meeting for House members to better understand their office accounts. That’s at 11:30 a.m., Medicaid meeting, Morris Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol. Also, pre-K through 12th-grade meeting, 11:30 a.m., 306 House Office Building, the Capitol. Also, 11:30 a.m., office accounts meeting, Reed Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol.
The House will hold a meeting for members about balancing family, work and service. Also, it will hold a meeting about presenting bills and a meeting titled, “Things I Wished Someone Told Me When I Started.” That’s at 12:30 p.m., balancing meeting, members dining hall, the Capitol. Also, 12:30 p.m., presenting bills meeting, Room 333, the Capitol. Also, 12:30 p.m., “Things I Wished Someone Told Me When I Started,” House Majority Office conference room, third floor, The Capitol.
The House will hold orientation-type meetings about the higher-education system, ethics and the LEAGIS legislative computer system. That’s at 1:30 p.m., higher education, 306 House Office Building, The Capitol. Also, 1:30 p.m., ethics meeting, Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol. Also, 1:30 p.m., LEAGIS meeting, Room 333, The Capitol.
Jeremiah Hawkes, the Senate general counsel, will make a presentation to Senators about ethics issues. That’s at 2 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.
The House will hold meetings for its members about respect in the workplace and filing appropriations project bills. That’s at 2:30 p.m., respect meeting, Reed Hall, House Office Building, the Capitol. Also, 2:30 p.m., appropriations project bills, 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.
The Senate will hold a memorial service for Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican who died Oct. 2 after a recurrence of cancer. Hukill, who was 72, represented Senate District 14, which is made up of southern Volusia and northern Brevard counties. New Smyrna Beach Republican Tom Wright won the Nov. 6 election to succeed Hukill in Senate District 14. That’s at 3:30 p.m., Senate chamber, The Capitol.
The House will hold meetings for its members about “advanced” budget training, “advanced” rules training and “advanced” bill drafting. That’s at 3:30 p.m., budget training, Reed Hall, House Office Building the Capitol. Also, 3:30 p.m., rules training, 404 House Office Building, the Capitol. Also, 3:30 p.m., bill drafting, 306 House Office Building, The Capitol.
In other business:
The Florida Chamber Foundation will hold the “2018 Growth & Infrastructure Summit” in Southwest Florida. The event will include discussion of issues such as transportation, water quality and diversifying energy sources. That’s at 9 a.m., Healthy Life Center at Babcock Ranch, 42880 Crescent Loop, Suite 100, Babcock Ranch.
The Florida Public Service Commission will take up a series of utility issues, including a continuing dispute between Florida Power & Light and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy about FPL’s recovery of costs related to an environmental cleanup project in Miami-Dade County. That’s at 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its monthly forecast for Florida’s 2018-2019 citrus growing season. That’s at noon.
The Audit Committee, the Finance and Investment Committee and the Actuarial and Underwriting Committee of the Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Board of Governors will meet before a full board meeting Wednesday. Meetings start at 1 p.m., Sheraton Orlando North, 600 North Lake Destiny Dr., Maitland. Call-in number: 1-888-942-8686. Code: 5743735657.