Last Call for 9.30.19 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Last Session, a move was afoot was to allow cats in craft breweries.

Now, a bill has been filed for 2020 to ban Rover in restaurants but allows Starbucks patrons to still bring their poodle to the patio.

State Rep. Bruce Antone, an Orlando Democrat representing House District 46, filed legislation (HB 243) Monday to expressly ban all but service animals from the retail establishments in the state.

“Nonservice animals are prohibited from traveling through or remaining in indoor portions of a public food service establishment or place of business,” says the bill, which has an enforcement section that creates a 2nd-degree misdemeanor for a third violation. (A first offense is a warning; a second is a $100 fine.)

Earlier this year, an alcoholic beverage ‘train’ bill died that included a provision to allow pet dogs and cats in craft breweries. Antone said he wasn’t aware of that measure and was responding to issues he’s witnessed personally.

“I see an increasing number of people bringing pets into places like restaurants and even Home Depot,” he told Florida Politics in a phone interview.

Antone reached critical mass on filing a bill when he saw what appeared to be a Siberian husky in one eatery he was dining in.

“If this dog got up on its hind legs, it would have been almost 6 feet tall,” he said.

He’s noticed other pets riding in shopping carts in stores, “barking at shoppers, barking at legitimate service animals … That kind of instills fear,” depending on the size of the dog, he said.

Antone said his bill would not prevent pets from being in outdoor seating areas, such as restaurant decks and coffee shop patios.

It’s time for a bill, or else — Antone joked — we’re going to soon see “small horses and snakes” in the Save A Lot.

Evening Reads

Donald Trump warns of treason, civil war; GOP congressman outraged” via Laurie Kellman of The Associated Press

House Democrats subpoena Rudy Giuliani for Ukraine documents” via Axios

Fellow Republicans, there’s still time to save your souls” via Jeff Flake for the Washington Post

In Florida, push for strict new gun ban” via Arian Campo-Flores and Zusha Elinson of the Wall Street Journal

Mar-a-Lago Officer admits lying during child porn investigation” via Mario Ariza of Sun-Sentinel

Marco Rubio’s mother, Oriales Rubio, has died” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Florida law would require drivers to keep hands off cellphones at all times” via News Service of Florida

No guns at the day care: Lori Berman, Cindy Polo file bills to keep firearms out of child care facilities” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

HD 76 candidate Jesse Purdon calls fatal crash ‘most traumatic experience of my life’” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

September ends with gas prices dropping across Florida” via

Quote of the Day

“They killed our jobs. (Now) they’re trying to kill us with fentanyl.” — U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, speaking to reporters in San Francisco about China.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

Tampa GOP state Rep. Jackie Toledo will join Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and Hillsborough County School District Superintendent Jeff Eakins for a news conference on “making all school and work zones hands-free.” That’s at 9:30 a.m., Mabry Elementary School, 4201 W. Estrella St., Tampa.

The Restoration of Voting Rights Work Group will hold another meeting to consider felons’ voting rights after a state constitutional amendment that passed last year and a subsequent “implementing bill” that was approved this past Legislative Session. That’s at 2 p.m., 212 Knott building, The Capitol.

Bay County’s Legislative Delegation will hold a meeting in advance of the 2020 Legislative Session, which begins Jan. 14. That’s at 5 p.m. (Central time), Bay County Government Bldg., 840 West 11th St., Panama City.

The University of Florida’s Office of Government Relations will host the first “UF Community Leaders Speaker Series” in Orlando, focusing on a preview of the 2020 Legislative Session. Expected attendees include Sen. David Simmons, and Reps. Mike LaRosa and Rene Plasencia, with GrayRobinson President and CEO Dean Cannon moderating. That’s at 5:30 p.m., GrayRobinson, 301 E. Pine St.-Suite 1400, Orlando. (To register, click here.)

Staff Reports


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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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