Sixty Days for 12.11.18 — A prime-time look at the 2019 Legislative Session
A view of the Capitol and Dept. of Education buildings Wednesday morning, Oct. 11, 2017 in Tallahassee, Fla. (Photo by Phil Sears)

Florida Legislature

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

The Last 24

Good Tuesday evening. Lawmakers descended upon the Capitol for three days of training (including on ethics), orientation and how-do-you-do’s, while one of their own just got a big job promotion into the nascent administration of Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis. Ethics, shmethics: Sixty Days is always on the straight and narrow. Here’s your nightly rundown.

Regulating right: Rep. Halsey Beshears will be the next secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Illegal immigrants: Indialantic Republican Thad Altman filed a bill to require the use of the E-Verify system in Florida, to prevent the hiring of undocumented aliens.

Judging the JNCs: Sen. Perry Thurston filed a bill to give the Governor less control over the composition of the state’s judicial nominating commissions (JNCs) starting in 2019.

Ethics education: “You can’t use your office to strike fear,” the House’s top lawyer told new members.

Credit karma: CFO Jimmy Patronis announced that S&P Global Ratings raised the rating on the $24 billion Florida Treasury Investment Pool to AA- from A+.

Orange outlook: The attitude toward Florida’s most iconic crop is shifting from sour to sweet.

Dog days: A Pennsylvania kennel is taking in and finding homes for some of Florida’s racing greyhounds, even though a constitutional amendment banning live dog racing doesn’t take effect till 2021.

Quote of the Day

“The problems facing Florida are not partisan. It’s the solutions that put us at odds.” — House Speaker Jose Oliva, addressing the opening session of “Legislator University.”

Bill Day’s Latest

3 Questions

House Democrat Jennifer Webb, like many new House members, was busy Tuesday at “Legislator University,” Speaker Jose Oliva’s training and orientation for new members, and refresher for returning ones. Webb beat Republican Ray Blacklidge last month to succeed the GOP’s Kathleen Peters in House District 69, representing West St. Petersburg and mid-Pinellas County. We caught up with her after a mandatory ethics training with House General Counsel Adam Tanenbaum.

FP: What did you take from this as a new state representative?

Webb: To call the General Counsel if I have any questions. (laughs) Seriously, I actually sought out (legal advice) from the General Counsel’s office right after I was elected because I’m a small-business owner … I wanted to ensure all my T’s were crossed and I’s dotted … They actually allayed my fears. I know precisely how to maintain the standards we need to follow.

FP: How’s your experience been so far as an elected official?

Webb: It’s like drinking from a fire hose. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’ve been running at full speed. I’m eager to get started, and eager for committee weeks to really start so that we can put into practice all of the information we have been getting.

FP: Can you preview what kind of legislation you will be filing or supporting?

Webb: I would say mental health and substance abuse, continuing Rep. Peters’ legacy in that area, and trying to get intervention to happen earlier when it’s still a health concern. Also, I’ll be looking at infrastructure and transportation, making sure we’re investing in that as a state … As to water treatment, our pipes haven’t been replaced in 70 years. The county is starting on that now, but with the red tide and runoff, we need to really move that up as a priority.

Lobby Up

Everything old is new again, as veteran lobbyist Jonathan Kilman — now head of his own firm of Converge Government Affairs, with offices in Miami, Orlando and Tallahassee — re-ups several of his clients.

Lobbying registration records accessed Tuesday show Kilman as lobbyist of record for video game maker Electronic Arts, ride-hailing platform Lyft and autonomous-truck developer Starsky Robotics.

Kilman, formerly with Foley & Lardner, has said he will focus on representing ‘market disrupters’ in 2019 and beyond.

“ … Our clients view themselves as innovative, truly modern in the way (they) do business,” he said in an interview earlier this year.

“I think it’s fair to say that you’ll see many of the clients that we represented in the past will continue to be our clients in the new firm,” Kilman added. “And a number of (other) clients will be joining us, and we’re excited about that.”

For instance, Kilman picked up online ticket reseller Vivid Seats, registration records show. The company is also repped by lobbyist Mike Haridopolos, who was Senate President in 2010-12.

Breakthrough Insights

The Next 24

In the Legislature:

The House will hold a meeting for its members titled, “Grace Under Pressure.” That’s at 9 a.m., Reed Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol.

Rep. Geraldine Thompson, an Orlando Democrat, will lead a House Democratic Caucus Workshop on Election Reform initiatives for the upcoming year. That’s at 10 a.m., House Democratic Caucus Room, Room 316, The Capitol.

Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislature’s Office of Economic Demographic and Research, will give a presentation to the Senate Appropriations Committee about a long-range financial outlook. That’s at 10 a.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.

The House will offer an introduction to the state budget, an introduction to House rules and a meeting about estimating conferences. That’s at 10 a.m., budget meeting, Reed Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol. Also, 10 a.m., rules meeting, 306 House Office Building, The Capitol. Also, 10 a.m., estimating conferences, 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.

The House will hold an orientation-type meeting about the Medicaid program, an overview of governance and performance in the pre-K through 12th-grade system and an introduction to the LEAGIS computer system. That’s at 11 a.m., Medicaid meeting, Morris Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol. Also, 11 a.m., pre-K through 12th grade, 306 House Office Building, The Capitol. Also, 11 a.m., LEAGIS meeting, Room 333, The Capitol.

The House will hold a meeting for members about balancing family, work and service. Also, it will hold an orientation-type meeting about presenting bills and a meeting titled, “Things I Wished Someone Told Me When I Started.” That’s at noon, balancing meeting, members dining hall, The Capitol. Also, noon, presenting bills meeting, Room 333, The Capitol. Also, noon, “Things I Wished Someone Told Me When I Started,” House Majority Office conference room, third floor, The Capitol.

The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss litigation involving the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice. That’s at 1:30 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.

The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee will receive overviews and hold member discussions. Education Appropriations, 1:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol. Also, Agriculture, Environment and General Government, 1:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.

The House will hold a meeting for members about working with “stakeholders” and a meeting about the Administrative Procedures Act and rule-making. That’s at 1:30 p.m., working with stakeholders, 306 House Office Building, The Capitol. Also, 1:30 p.m., rule-making meeting, Reed Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol.

The House will offer an “advanced” meeting for members about the LEAGIS computer system, an “advanced” meeting about budget training and an “advanced” meeting about rules training. That’s at 2:30 p.m., LEAGIS meeting, Room 333, The Capitol. Also, 2:30 p.m., budget meeting, Morris Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol. Also, 2:30 p.m., rules meeting, Reed Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol.

The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will receive a presentation about the rollout of new Medicaid managed-care contracts. That’s at 3:30 p.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.

The Senate Finance and Tax Committee and the Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee will receive overviews. Finance and Tax, 3:30 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol. Also, Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development, 3:30 p.m., 110 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.

House members will receive an overview of the judicial branch and attend a meeting about issues related to water quality. That’s at 3:30 p.m., judicial branch overview, 404 House Office Building, The Capitol. Also, 3:30 p.m., water quality meeting, Reed Hall, House Office Building, The Capitol.

In other business:

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was created to make recommendations after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Broward County high school, will start a two-day meeting in Tallahassee. That’s at 8:30 a.m., Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, 505 West Pensacola St., Tallahassee.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will start a two-day meeting and is expected to receive an update on the agency’s response to Hurricane Michael and staff proposals about shore-based shark fishing. That’s at 8:30 a.m., Renaissance World Golf Village, 500 South Legacy Trail, St. Augustine.

The Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Board of Governors will meet in Central Florida. That’s at 9 a.m., Sheraton Orlando North, 600 North Lake Destiny Dr., Maitland. Call-in number: 1-888-942-8686. Code: 5743735657.

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 Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also 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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