Nick DiCeglie off to strong start during 2020 Session

Several of DiCeglie's legislative priorities are on the move.

Rep. Nick DiCeglie celebrated a banner week as lawmakers began heading home from the second week of the 2020 Legislative Session.

In an email to supporters, the Indian Rocks Beach Republican touted several priorities that made progress throughout the week.

That includes an appropriations request (HB 2653) that would allocate $750,000 to the Central Florida Behavioral Network’s Pinellas County Marchman Act to provide 10 additional beds to individuals taken into custody under the Marchman Act, a policy that allows law enforcement officers to transport transient individuals under the influence to a facility in lieu of arresting them.

“We still continue to have a serious opioid epidemic issue along with mental health issues and this is just one way for me to be in tune with the needs of our county. This kind of gives some help to these folks,” DiCeglie said.

DiCeglie’s bill cleared its one and only committee this week and now heads to appropriations where it will be one of hundreds of other request from lawmakers throughout the state.

It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not his request will make it into the final budget and, even if it does, it would still have to survive the Governor’s veto pen.

“But the good news is it was heard in committee. I had a couple last year that didn’t get a hearing. It’s always good when they get heard,” DiCeglie said.

Another of DiCeglie’s legislative priorities also made headway last week. A proposed bill (HB 441) aims to increase opportunities for businesses,  big and small, to bid one public projects.

The bill would increase the cap on public procurement contracts from $2 million to $4 million. By increasing the scope of projects in the procurement process, smaller businesses would have more opportunities to bid because more projects would be available. Meanwhile, larger businesses would be able to access higher-dollar projects that would make more sense for their business models.

That bill heads next to the House floor. A similar bill in the Senate (SB 506) has cleared all but one committee.

DiCeglie’s mastery-based education bill (HB 523) hasn’t had much movement, but DiCeglie is confident it will gain traction this year.

“I ran it last year and it passed house last year,” DiCeglie said. Another lawmaker proposed the same bill the previous year, too. Both failed in the Senate.

“I anticipate it will get through the House again this year.”

DiCeglie said he’s spoken to Sen. Jeff Brandes about sponsoring the measure in the Senate.

The bill would expand the state’s current competency-based education option to include more schools and a larger scope of learning including determining alternate grading scales based on mastery of content rather than numeric scores based on tests and graded assignments.

“I had a conversation with a teacher here in Largo. She teaches a program that utilizes this kind of innovative, competency based innovation. It’s not just teaching to a test,” DiCeglie said.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


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 @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn