Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Oral arguments are set for Tuesday in an appeal over the future of the law that “implements” the state’s 2016 constitutional amendment that OK’d medical marijuana (MMJ).
A three-judge panel — James R. Wolf, T. Kent Wetherell II and Scott D. Makar — of the 1st District Court of Appeal is slated to consider whether to overturn or let stand a ruling last year by Tallahassee Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who declared provisions of the statute to be unconstitutional.
The ruling came in a challenge brought by Florigrown, which had been denied a chance to become a “medical marijuana treatment center” (MMTC), or provider. The company is partly owned by Tampa strip club mogul and free speech advocate Joe Redner.
Dodson had targeted several parts of the law that put into effect, or implement, the constitutional amendment. They include the requirement that Florida have a vertically-integrated market, meaning the same provider grows, processes and sells its own marijuana; and limits on the number of marijuana providers that can do business in the state.
The judge issued a temporary court order requiring state officials at the Department of Health to start registering, rather than license, Florigrown and other MMJ companies.
The case will be heard at 2 p.m., at the 1st District’s courthouse, 2000 Drayton Drive, Tallahassee.
“Joe Biden gambles on high-risk primary strategy” via Natasha Korecki and Marc Caputo of POLITICO
“Controversy emerges over who won’t make the Democrats’ first 2020 debates in Miami” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald
“Inside the Democratic strategy to defeat Donald Trump in Florida” via David Smiley and Steve Contorno of the Times/Herald
“Congress members push ‘National Memorial’ designation for Pulse” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Ron DeSantis fundraising machine ramps up in May” via The News Service of Florida
“Lt. Governor steps up action on hepatitis A outbreak” via Noah Pransky of Florida Politics
“Mara Gambineri rejoins Executive Office of the Governor” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics
“Florida authorizes armed paramedics for hostage standoffs, mass shooting response” via Skyler Swisher of the Sun-Sentinel
“NRA money flowed to board members amid lavish spending by top officials and vendors” via The Washington Post
“Up next for assault weapons ban proposal? Florida Supreme Court review” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald
“Scot Peterson arrest adds wrinkle to Scott Israel’s appeal” via Jim Saunders of The News Service of Florida
“Why is the prison population so high in Florida?” via Dan Sweeney of the Sun-Sentinel
Quote of the Day
“I sincerely hope he receives the sort of psychological counseling that can begin the long, long healing process.” — Pensacola News Journal cartoonist/columnist Andy Marlette, on GOP state Rep. Mike Hill, embroiled in a controversy over chuckling at a suggestion of legislation to allow for the death by stoning of gay people.
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Wake Up Early?
The 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments in a battle about the constitutionality of a 2017 education law known as HB 7069. The dispute focuses heavily on parts of the law designed to boost charter schools, including the creation of what were dubbed “schools of hope.” That’s at 9 a.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.
The Florida Public Service Commission will consider a proposal that would lead to Duke Energy Florida using $223.5 million in federal tax savings to pay costs related to Hurricane Michael and to replenish a storm reserve. That’s at 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.
The Education Estimating Conference will hold what is known as an “impact” conference on issues involving student financial aid at 10 a.m., 117 Knott Building.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release the second-to-last monthly forecast for Florida’s citrus-growing season at noon.
The Strategic Planning Committee of the state university system’s Board of Governors will meet and consider accountability plans for the University of West Florida, Florida A&M University, New College of Florida, Florida State University, Florida Atlantic University and the University of South Florida. Also, it will consider a plan to designate Florida International University as an “emerging preeminent” university. That’s at 1 p.m., University of South Florida, Marshall Student Center, 4103 USF Cedar Circle, Tampa.
The 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments about whether lawmakers and the Florida Department of Health violated a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. That’s at 2 p.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.