Last Call for 12.23.19 — 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

Merry Christmas Eve Eve.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order last week giving state employees Christmas Eve off has put Florida’s state government seemingly in line with most cities and counties throughout the Sunshine State. President Donald Trump also gave most federal employees the day off, in an executive order signed last week.

Increasingly, Christmas Eve is becoming part of the Christmas holiday, though it’s still a city-by-city, county-by-county and government-by-government decision, with no uniformity (at least yet). A sampling of counties and cities finds most are closed Tuesday, providing a day off for most employees considered “nonessential.” 

For a majority of cities and counties, even that is a little vague. Like the state, they define each nonessential service independently and a little broadly; the same rules don’t necessarily apply to contractors, either. 

So, no, you probably shouldn’t try to pull that permit Tuesday. Yes, you should probably put your trash out if Tuesday is your day, particularly if your city or county contracts out the collection to private hauling companies. No, you shouldn’t try to get a new driver’s license. Yes, the police and firefighters will show up if you need them.

But emphatic declarations by DeSantis and Trump for the day off is likely to accelerate the trend. Here’s expecting Christmas Eve 2020 will be assumed to be a holiday for government employees.

Unless someone says otherwise.

Evening Reads

Escape to Mar-a-Lago: Donald Trump gets a post-impeachment mood lift” via Meredith McGraw of POLITICO

Trump to rally evangelical voters in Miami” via Skyler Swisher of the Sun-Sentinel

Team Trump fights legislation on Turkey that would help Kurdish refugees” via Betsy Swan of The Daily Beast

Trump isn’t the only one with conspiracy theories via Daniel McCarthy for The New York Times

How the economy could make or break Donald Trump in 2020” via Ben White of POLITICO

Marco Rubio calls for support of Brazil’s bid for NATO partnership programs” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Rick Scott once lined the Governor’s Mansion with Florida’s most coveted artwork, now he calls for cuts in arts funding” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida

Ron DeSantis, Jeanette Núñez dub 2019 an ‘incredible year for Florida’” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

Winter Park’s Chris King lost the election but says he won progressive ‘idea wars’” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

Power-of-attorney has the power to be abused in Florida.” via Kathryn Varn of the Tampa Bay Times

Multimillion-dollar tobacco case goes to Supreme Court” via the News Service of Florida

Supreme Court asked to address phone passcodes” via Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida

Minimum wage to increase by dime in 2020” via the News Service of Florida

Jeff Brandes introduces prison sentence reduction legislation for young adults” via Janelle Irwin of Florida Politics

Lenny Curry tells JEA to stop sales talks” via Christopher Hong of the Florida Times-Union

Backers say Court should clear initiative for ballot” via the News Service of Florida

How Scientology is playing in a critical Clearwater election” via Tracy McManus of the Tampa Bay Times

For Tampa Bay and nation, a decade polarized by politics” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay Times CEO Paul Tash got a slight pay bump even as he complained paper tariffs would, and did, lead to layoffs” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Al Ruechel retiring from Bay News 9 after decades on TV in Tampa Bay” via Christopher Spata of the Tampa Bay Times

Break out the wallets! Retailers expect record holiday season” via Florida Politics

Five of Florida’s strange, kinky, and very bad Santas” via Manuel Madrid of the Miami New Times

Hallmark Christmas movies are ridiculous. I know because I watch them” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel


Quote of the Day

“The way that the process unfolded, there were missteps, and the public’s view is just eroded. I see that. I feel that. I hear that, and it’s time to stop it.” — Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, asking the JEA Board to end private sale discussions.

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Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

The deadline to apply for two open Florida Supreme Court seats is at 6 p.m. The seats are available due to the appointment of former justices Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa to federal judgeships.

Staff Reports


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.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Jesse Scheckner, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

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Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
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