Welcome to Brunch AND one of the best days of the year!
📅 — Today is Super Bowl Sunday. It’s also Groundhog Day. And it’s a rare eight-digit palindrome (a sequence that reads the same forward as it does backward) when written as 02/02/2020 — the only one of its kind this century. H/t Ben Guarino.
🐿 — Speaking of Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil was pulled from his burrow in Gobbler’s Knob Sunday morning and did not see his shadow, which, according to legend, means an early spring and warmer temperatures are coming. H/t Ron Brackett.
🐶 — For those of you who don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a field goal, the Puppy Bowl airs at 3 p.m. on the Animal Planet channel.
As for who I think will win the big game, I’m all over the Chiefs. If you can find a book that will let you reverse-tease the Chiefs so you can lower the over, I’d take that as far as you can. The Chiefs will win in a double-digit blow-out.
My favorite prop bet is the +800 line (bet $100 to win $800) on the over/under on the number of players arrested after the game. The o/u is .5, so all you need is one player to get arrested to cash in.
— POLS’ PREDICTIONS —
We asked; you answered. This week, Florida Politics put out a call to those in The Process (both electeds and those behind-the-scenes) for their Super Bowl LIV predictions. The response — many serious, others more tongue-in-cheek — was overwhelming! The key takeaway: This will be a close match, and the winner is still anyone’s guess.
We will know the answer soon; kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.
Thanks to everyone for participating and … enjoy the game.
“35-24 Kansas City. Thank God the game isn’t being played a few miles north in Broward County, or we’d wake up the next morning, and San Francisco would have 10 more points than they had the night before.” — U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.
“This Super Bowl is great not only for Miami but for all of Florida. Although I have no rooting interest in the game, I think it will be Kansas City 41, San Francisco 30. I say this judging by the playoffs. The Chiefs have the best quarterback in the league right now. We look forward to watching a great matchup!” — Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“I’m going with the Chiefs 38-16, since the Dolphins lost to the 49ers in their last Super Bowl — I’m loyal to my ‘Fins!” — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
“Regardless of who has the highest score … Florida wins! And will win again next year when we host Super Bowl LV. Florida never gets tired of winning!” — Attorney General Ashley Moody.
“The Chief win by less than 7” via CFO Jimmy Patronis.
“San Francisco will win as they will have better control of the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately, they still have no control over people doing heroin and pooping in the streets.” — U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz.
“When you watch the Super Bowl tonight and see the packed stadium, know that over five times that amount of people are moving to Florida each year because of how great it is to live in the Sunshine State! I hope America can take a deep breath and much-needed break from impeachment and politics tonight! Go Chiefs!” — U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz.
“It’s a tough choice — both are great cities with a lot to offer. I’ll probably end up rooting for San Francisco because I have a weakness for chocolate and Ghirardelli is one of my favorites. More importantly, though, I’m hoping for a good game with no rain, and that everyone visiting Miami has a great, safe time.” — U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala.
“The big winner Sunday will be the great state of Florida. We have a tremendous opportunity to showcase the multitude of reasons Florida is the best place to live, work, raise a family, start or expand a business, and retire.” — Senate President Bill Galvano.
“KC +3” — House Speaker José Oliva.
“San Francisco comes out on top 34-30. But the big winner is already the state of Florida and the city of Miami. We’ll be taking notes up here in Tampa Bay! #LV” — Senate President-designate Wilton Simpson.
“49ers turnaround season comes up just short despite their great defense. [Patrick] Mahomes and the Chiefs offense win the day. Chiefs 31, Niners 26.” — House Speaker-designate Chris Sprowls.
“I can comfortably predict that on Sunday, traffic down here will be a mess, so I will be reading and reviewing bills, and come Monday, the Senate will be on track and making good things happen.” — Sen. Lauren Book.
“I think the difference in the game will be the Niners defense. They won’t stop Mahomes and Co., but they will make just enough plays to win. And I believe Jimmy G [Jimmy Garoppolo] will be the MVP. He’s better than people realize.” — Sen. Rob Bradley.
“I believe the Chiefs offense will overpower the 49ers Defense. Mahomes is the future of the league “ — Sen. Oscar Braynon.
“What Patrick Mahomes is doing at the quarterback position is truly remarkable to witness, and I believe this is finally Andy Reid’s year to win the championship he deserves after so many close calls in the past. I’m taking the Chiefs in a close one, 38-35.” — Sen. Janet Cruz.
“With 194 million fans watching, Florida wins. Everyone will see the beautiful weather and the incredible hospitality we have to offer. Not to mention all the folks flying in to attend the series of events. We’re glad to have them! I don’t have any predictions on the outcome. I like them both … Now, if one of them were a Florida team, it would be a different story!” — Sen. Kathleen Passidomo.
“Kansas City, Mahomes MVP, throws for 3 touchdowns.” — Sen. Kelli Stargel.
“Chiefs win by 2. Total score will exceed 56. They will mention Chad Henne played for the Dolphins. 49ers score first.” — Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin.
“Patrick Mahomes is the best player on the field, leading an offense that is fast and electric enough to steal a win. The best unit on the field is the Niner’s defense, capable of constant disruption without having to bring more than 4 and with playmakers at each level. In a good one, Tampa’s beloved John Lynch gets his first ring as a GM and #WarDamnDeeFord has a night.” — Rep. James Grant
“My uncalculated, nonathletic prediction is that the Chiefs will win the Super Bowl, and Coach Andy Reid will FINALLY get his ring.” — Rep. Shevrin Jones.
“KC wins by 5 points. My prediction is based on KC’s defense.” — Rep. Kionne McGhee.
“Never bet against the team that arrives in Miami in Hawaiian shirts. Chiefs (27) — 49ers (16) — Rep. Daniel Perez.
“Kansas City for the win!” — Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez.
“Super Bowl LIV will be remembered as the game that began Patrick Mahomes transition from phenom to legend as he leads the Chiefs on a successful two-minute drill for the winning touchdown.” — Rep. Ray Rodrigues.
“Philly and New York. Two strong teams. Should be a great game.” — Matthew Santos.
“Since my pro football allegiances reside with who employs the most Gators, I’m torn because both teams have a starting Gator. But I am a big Mahomes fan, so I say Chiefs by a touchdown.” — Former Rep. Jason Brodeur.
“The Super Bowl is this weekend? 🙂 I’ll leave the predicting to those who actually know something about [*checks notes*] football.” — Simone Marstiller, Secretary, DJJ
“Kansas City 30, San Francisco 27. The Chiefs and Andy Reid finally get off the schneid and complete their season of comeback wins, reminding the Dolphins that stud QBs win Super Bowls in today’s NFL.” — State Attorney Dave Aronberg.
“Miami-Dade will be seen by the entire world as an extraordinary, beautiful multicultural community and KC by 7.” — Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
— MORE PREDICTIONS —
“If I were a betting man, I would bet the hot quarterback. Mahomes is nearly unstoppable. Chiefs win and cover.” — Brian Ballard.
“Niners win. Dixon sheds a tear. Twitter fawns over Bloomberg’s ad. And (Noah) Pransky writes a post-op about how the game wasn’t that great for the local economy.” — James Blair.
“Never underestimate the underdog. 49ers will take it 30-27. Ultimately though, JLO and Shakira are going to steal the show.” — Demi Busatta Cabrera, HD 114 candidate.
“Patrick Mahomes pocket presence and mobility will neutralize an elite 49ers defensive line. The Chiefs defense makes enough stops, and they prevail 34-30.” — Javi Correoso, Uber.
“Kansas City Chiefs in a close game. And Mahomes becomes the favorite quarterback for a new generation of kids and proves the need for teams to have a quarterback who can run to be competitive moving forward.” — Husein Cumber, Florida East Coast Industries.
“I think SF will return an interception or fumble for a TD and that J Lo will have something controversial happen during her gig. I believe SF will win the coin toss, and the first score will be a rushing play by either team as opposed to a pass. There I said it, and so it will be.” — Scott Dudley, Florida League of Cities.
“I was a senior in high school 50 miles from Kansas City the last time the Chiefs were in the Super Bowl, and my 50 year reunion is this year. I think we are past due, and we have the fastest team in the NFL and speed kills! Chiefs 38, 49ers 28. — Randy Enwright.
“I believe Patrick Mahomes and the KC offense will be too much for the 49ers to handle. SF is a well-balanced team anchored by their defense on the front and middle, but they only have Sherman on the back end. SF isn’t built to come back if KC gets out to a big lead. KC has a good run defense that will force Garoppolo to throw in to some mistakes. Giving Andy Reid two weeks to game plan I’ll take KC 38-23 over SF.” — Brian Goldmeier
“The 49ers are left coast marauders who would pose a challenge to anyone in their way. But the Chiefs sport the color red, in a year where red will once again overwhelm blue in the fall. Chiefs 31 49ers 27.” — Adam Goodman.
“San Francisco 31 Kansas City 25: A good rule is to never bet against Richard Sherman in a money game. Kyle Shanahan will make the field goal that he didn’t three years ago, and get 28-3 out of his system. I wish I could.” — David Johnson.
“Whoever controls the clock wins the game. But two 24-year-old quarterbacks ensures the NFL relevancy for the next decade.” — James Loftus.
“I am predicting San Francisco in a 24 to 21 win.” — Darrick McGhee, Johnson & Blanton.
“My mom was a die-hard Niner. My grandmother was a die-hard Niner. Even my Croatian speaking Great-grandmother loved the Niners. They are all gone, but I am here to tell you, Niners all the way.” — Kathy Mears.
“Sunday prediction: Chiefs win. Mahomes is the MVP. Monday prediction: Millions of Americans wonder why the game isn’t played on a Saturday. Anyone want to sponsor a bill to require that?” — Corinne Mixon, Rutledge & Ecenia.
“49ers will come out strong with the running game for the early lead, but Mahomes will light them up in the 2nd and wear down their secondary. Garoppolo will be forced to throw the ball late in the 3rd, which will result in at least two picks. Chiefs 31, 49ers 27.” — Pasco Co. Commissioner Mike Moore.
“Oddsmakers know what they’re doing, which is why this game is nearly a pick’em. It’s also why I don’t think this game is going to be a shootout. Sure, Patrick Mahomes is capable of throwing seven touchdowns … but not if he doesn’t get his hands on the ball for 2/3 of the game. I think a 29-26 or a 30-24 kind of game is realistic — that’s still a lot of points for an NFL game — but I’d be shocked if either team put up 35 points.” — Noah Pransky.
“We’d like to see a lot of points, so betting the over would be fun seeing more than 54 points. Chiefs win because they have the best player in the NFL right now, Patrick Mahomes.” — Bibiana Potestad, HD 105 candidate.
“K.C. does the Warchant; San Francisco wears garnet and gold. Clearly, the Noles are the winners here!” — Emmett Reed, Florida Health Care Association.
“I predict Patrick Mahomes finishes his career year and his Chiefs beat a great 49ers team by one touchdown. Of course, I would NEVER bet on this!” — Bill Rubin.
“Tyreek Hill will have at least one 50 yard catch.” — Elnatan Rudolph.
“I love both teams in this great matchup because KC is so offensively exciting, hasn’t been to a Super Bowl in 50 years and shares the distinction with my beloved Miami Dolphins for being in the ”NFL’s Longest Game” on Christmas Day back in the ’70s (better memory because the ’Fins won.) But also love the ’49ers, whose young and valiant coach, Kyle Shanahan, has deep ties to Florida/UF and whose front office genius, John Lynch, was a dominant and integral part of the Tampa Bay Bucs Super Bowl championship. I essentially can’t lose in this terrific matchup!” — Ron Sachs.
“With 2 former UF players on the field, it’s guaranteed that a Gator will be on the winning team for the 22nd time in Super Bowl history.” — Samantha Sexton.
“While the 49ers and the Chiefs battle it out in Super Bowl LIV, here is an interesting side note. Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is the first person to be on an NFL roster with a medical degree and the first medical doctor to play in the Super Bowl.” — Tim Stapleton, CEO, Florida Medical Association
“I think the Patriots take it by +7, wait, no, the Fins by +14 … never mind Titans by some spread because they have JJ Watt.” — Brad Swanson, Florida Internet & Television.
“Since Joe Montana was a Niner, I have been a 49ers fan! So, my prediction is that behind Jimmy G and [George] Kittle, the 49ers win their 6th Super Bowl, 35-24.” — Herbie Thiele, Sachs Media Group.
“49ers 27 Chiefs 24 — Niners formidable defense will make a couple of key plays in the 4th quarter — including a big sack late — to seal the win. On the offensive side for San Francisco, they may start a little slow, but the running game will wear the Kansas City Defense down over 4 quarters, and George Kittle will have several key 3rd down catches to keep scoring drives alive.” — Cory Tilley, CoreMessage.
“After last year’s lackluster performance, there will be an awesome display of talent in the air. With that, I predict Madison Avenue will come out on top. As for the men in helmets on the field, as an FSU grad, how could I not root for a team that does a (mediocre) rendition of the Tomahawk chop?” — Steve Vancore
“Down on Las Olas and based on the energy here, I am going with the Chiefs & Mahomes will be the MVP with the most passing TD’s in Super Bowl history.” — Alan Williams.
“Game is too close to call. If the over/under gets up to 56 by Sunday, pound the under.” — Michael Williams, Florida Chamber Foundation.
“Much like a fine red wine is aired out to bring forth it’s best qualities, the Kansas City Chiefs will be showing their best qualities by airing out their offense this weekend and defeating the San Francisco 49’s 31-28 Chiefs.” — Skylar Zander, Americans for Prosperity — Florida.
— NO BREAK FROM POLITICS —
Amid the car, snack and beer commercials, the incumbent President and billionaire Democratic contender — Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg — interject politics into the biggest sporting event of the year, each with campaign ads to air during Super Bowl LIV.
— 🎥 Bloomberg’s ad: “George” features an emotional mother still grieving the loss of her son killed by gun violence. She cites Bloomberg’s history of seeking tougher gun laws as the reason she now has “a dog in the fight” for the presidency.
— Key quote: “I know Mike isn’t afraid of the gun lobby — they’re scared of him. And they should be.”
— 🎥 Trump’s ad: “Stronger, Safer, More Prosperous” is more celebratory, with images of the President’s rallies and a narrator boasting about low employment and an America that is “stronger, safer and more prosperous than ever before.”
— Key quote: “America demanded change, and change is what we got.”
— LOOK MA —
Trump’s reelection campaign will be flying a pair of aerial banners above Hard Rock Stadium ahead of Sunday night’s Super Bowl matchup.
— Banners will read: “KEEP AMERICA GREAT! TEXT TRUMP TO 88022.” It’s part of an effort to urge supporters in South Florida to sign up with the campaign.
— Prime opportunity. According to the Trump team, the banners will be near the stadium in Miami Gardens from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Thousands have flocked to the area, making the event a prime marketing opportunity.
— Winning. “Thanks to President Trump’s policies, America is winning like never before,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump 2020 Communications Director. “Team Trump is here to [remind] Super Bowl attendees that to ‘Keep America Great’ we need four more years of President Trump.”
— Of course, the campaign has plenty to celebrate. On Friday, the U.S. Senate voted against calling additional witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial. Senators are not expected to convict Trump after he was accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress following his push for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump was victorious in Florida in 2016 and is looking to repeat that feat. And South Florida is also Trump’s new home, after he and his wife, Melania, declared his Mar-a-Lago resort some 55 miles north to be their permanent residence.
>>>Sean Hannity‘s sit-down with Trump — which will be taped at Mar-a-Lago ahead of time — will be airing in the 3 p.m. hour during the Fox broadcast network’s pregame show.
— FRESH FROM FLORIDA —
— TAMPA IS ON THE CLOCK —
While Super Bowl is in Miami tonight (as you may have heard), some attendees will have an eye on Super Bowl 55 in Tampa next year. Among those: former House Speaker Will Weatherford, who chairs the welcoming committee.
— ‘Learning experience.’ That’s how Weatherford described it, noting that “whenever a city hosts an event on the global stage, it wants to put itself in the best light. I’m looking forward to seeing what Miami does.” The committee has already been working on next year’s game for a year.
— Fifth time’s the charm. SB 55 will be the fifth Super Bowl for Raymond James Stadium. What’s Tampa’s secret? In part, it’s a regional vision, with ‘assets around Tampa Bay’ helping to house and entertain the influx of visitors.
— ‘Punched above its weight.’ That’s how Weatherford summed up Tampa’s ability to compete with other perennial hosts, such as Miami and New Orleans. ‘Tampa Bay is a region … [from] Sarasota to Central Florida’
— The winner is. A former linebacker, Weatherford is a defense guy. But he thinks Patrick Mahomes will make the difference for the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs over the NFC 49ers.
— WHAT DO GALVANO AND OLIVA HAVE AGAINST TUESDAY? —
Put on your big boy or girl (or nonbinary) pants and get ready for Tuesday. Both the House and Senate have crammed so much into one double-stuffed day, that by the time you’re munching on the house pork rinds and sipping a stiff one at the Governors Club, you’d be forgiven for wishing the week was already over.
— For you early risers: The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee kicks it off with nothing less than a complete overhaul of Florida auto insurance and the revival of joint and several liabilities under the valued policy law. Throw in TNC, hospital price transparency, and the likelihood of a bad faith debate, and you’ll be reaching for the Tums before the first cup of coffee’s kicked in.
— Is health policy more your speed? The House Health Market Reform Subcommittee meets at the same time to consider ACHA’s agency package, a CON bill for intermediate care facilities, and a couple of organ donation bills.
— The 8 a.m. block delivers your first opportunity to be in three places at once when the House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee takes up priority revamps of charter school regulation, Florida Virtual School, an “accountability” PCB, student mental health and — sure, why not — prayer in public schools.
— Rapid-fire round, go: OK, at 9 a.m. House Justice Appops abrogating statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims; House Workforce tanking CareerSource Florida; Senate Ag growing more hemp; Senate Commerce deregulating your client; Senate Criminal Justice opening the prison doors; and Senate Health Policy regulating childbirth.
— No time for lunch. By now, you’ll have built up quite an appetite for the liver and onions at Earley’s.
However, the 12:30 p.m. block brings the show that is Senate Banking & Insurance as it considers the CFO’s consumer protection package, bad faith, and a couple of insurance industry trains. Meanwhile, Senate Children & Families takes up the Dan Markel murder/grandparents’ rights bill and child welfare services. At the same time, Senate Judiciary handles attorney fees, the anything-but-innocuous “parental rights” bill, and — you got it — prayer in public schools.
Now run back to the other side of the Capitol.
— BUDGETS IN PLAY —
Both the House and Senate released their budgets late last week. The Senate budget came in at $92.8 billion, $1.5 billion over the House number, due to what was called “significant changes in estimates of future state obligations.”
— Into the future. House budget chief Travis Cummings described “funding future state obligations as kind of a talking point of the Senate. Everything they mentioned we funded except for opioids, which we got late … I’m sure they spent more on Ag., Florida Forever.” That $125M ask by the Senate is higher than the Governor ‘s $100M request and the House’s $20M line item.
— Affordable housing. Senate also spent more on Sadowsky Fund affordable housing money, with the House at less than half the Senate $387M number. “The sweep has been common for many years,” Cummings said, and this year’s no exception with “some of the other pressures in the budget … environment, health care, teacher pay.”
— Bonus round? The Senate and House do align on a new bonus program, a $300M proposal of Gov. Ron DeSantis. While ‘well-intentioned over the years,’ the focus on the House side is to get starting pay up for new teachers and to compensate veteran teachers in base pay. The Senate is willing, as of now, to cede $400M to districts for the salary goal and $100M for experienced teacher raises, with no bonuses contemplated. The House wants to cut bonuses also, and devote $500M to teacher salaries.
— NAME YOUR POISON —
Beer, wine or liquor? No matter the preference, there’s a booze bill moving through committees that’ll make it easier to satisfy your thirst.
— Bottle service: Rep. Chip LaMarca’s proposal (HB 6037) to uncork the cap on wine bottle sizes is on Wednesday’s special order calendar. Legal bottles top out at a gallon under current law, but LaMarca’s would make allow consumers to pick up a 15-liter “Nebuchadnezzar” — assuming they can make the lift.
— Make it a triple: A bill by Rep. Anthony Sabatini (HB 583) would shred the size limit on wine bottles, too, but it would also and more than triple the production limit for craft distilleries. It has already cleared two committees and is awaiting a hearing in the House Commerce Committee.
— To-go, please: Rep. Holly Raschein’s proposal (HB 1165) is similar to LaMarca’s and Sabatini’s, with the added provision that restaurant patrons could head home with a partially consumed bottle of wine — no need to chug it after getting the check. It cleared the Business and Professions Subcommittee last week and is up in the Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday.
#WetFebruary? Senators have been teetotalers thus far, as the slate of bills relaxing alcohol-related rules are all idling. Here’s hoping that changes with the end of #DryJanuary.
— EASY ACCESS BOOZE —
Speaking of booze, a Florida appeals court is allowing the sale of alcohol-dispensing vending machines, reversing a decision from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
— The background: La Galere Markets (LGM) had planned to sell those vending machines to residential buildings. Those machines utilize self-checkout, with employees “rarely present,” according to the court. LGM already sells similar vending machines containing nonalcoholic beverages, personal care items and other goods. But DBPR ruled the booze vending machines violated the state’s laws regulating alcohol sales.
— The law: DBPR argued that because vending machines were not explicitly listed as an authorized means of selling alcohol, that meant Florida law did not permit such sales. DBPR also alleged the sale of alcohol via vending machine violated seven separate chapters of the Florida Statutes.
— The defense: LGM countered, saying its safety measures prevented minors from accessing alcohol, even if adults were not consistently present to monitor the machines. For one, the machines were inside residential buildings and only accessible to residents. To qualify to use a machine, a building resident had to submit their information and verify their age. Then, the purchaser would have to use a fingerprint or other biometric data to make a purchase. “LGM would monitor and digitally record purchases through twenty-four-hour surveillance,” the court found. “Payments for purchases from the ADMs would be electronic, and LGM would maintain records of all transactions.”
— The ruling: The 1st District Court of Appeal ultimately found LGM was not in direct violation of any of the seven chapters cited by DPBR. As for the lack of express authorization for the machines by the Legislature? The court found such an analysis was only relevant if those seven chapters cited by DBPR were ambiguous. “Because the statutes cited by the Division are not ambiguous, we confine our analysis to their plain language.” The court found that plain language did not prevent the sale of those machines.
— SAY WHAT? —
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, one of three LGBTQ lawmakers in the House, couldn’t believe it when he saw a bill banning doctors from treating transgender youth get scheduled for a vote. Here’s why.
— Insult to Injury: The Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which bans discrimination on transgender Floridians, has yet to be heard. “Hearing this bill is giving people who want to harm transgender youth a platform.”
— Trans danger: “Florida is No. 1 in terms of transgender black women murdered in our state.”
— What parents’ rights? After hearing rhetoric on empowering parents with school choice, abortion for minors and student privacy, this seems counter-rhetorical. “When it comes to giving transgender youth life-saving care, they suddenly don’t care about parental choice?”
Voucher scandal. Speaking of school choice, Florida already made headlines for vouchers going to anti-trans private schools. “If Republicans are going to continue to tell the press they aren’t anti-LGBTQ, they have a weird way of showing it.”
— FOR YOUR RADAR —
Senate Bill 306, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Mayfield, which seeks to stop the sweep of the housing trust fund, is up on Monday at 4 p.m., in the Senate Infrastructure & Security Committee.
— Sweeping housing trust funds into the general revenue is common practice, but SB 306 would leave Sadowski housing cash in the proper coin jar.
— $2 billion last decade: SB 306 and HB 381 prevent the state from moving dollars from the State and Local Government housing trust funds to the general revenue.
Similar bills in recent years haven’t been scheduled a committee hearing, but Sen. Tom Lee and Infrastructure and Security are giving it a chance Monday.
— Spring cleaning: Wait till March to see what happens to current trust funds, but the House wants to nab a combined $200 million while the Senate says not a penny.
— MARK YOUR CALENDARS —
Some key dates you should put in your planners:
— CFO Jimmy Patronis, who serves as state fire marshal, will join Ag. Commish Fried Monday for a Florida Fire Service awards ceremony, 5:30 p.m., 22nd floor, The Capitol.
— Pro-abortion activists will hold a rally Tuesday to protest a Senate vote on a bill requiring parental consent before minors could have abortions. The rally begins at 11 a.m., 228 South Adams St., Tallahassee. Protesters will then “occupy” The Capitol at 3 p.m., fourth and fifth floors.
— Former Rep. Jason Brodeur is holding a fundraiser for his Senate campaign in Sanford on Tuesday night. The reception is slated for 5:30 p.m. at Venue 1902, 301 W. 7th St.
— The Florida Maritime Partnership will hold its second annual legislative “sail-in” on Wednesday and Thursday. The event will see advocates spread the word on the maritime industry’s impact on Florida’s economy.
— Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, will join Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo on Wednesday for roundtable discussion engaging young voters. They will also hold a “voter protection” town hall meeting. Roundtable begins at 1:30 p.m., town hall at 2:35 p.m., Miami Dade College, North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27th Ave., Miami.
— ON/OFF —
Supporters of a handful of potential 2020 ballot initiatives faced a Saturday deadline for acquiring the minimum 766,200 signatures needed to qualify for the 2020 ballot. With the petition deadline now in the rearview, here’s where the state’s 2020 ballot initiatives now stand:
— Two measures are ready to be served to voters on the upcoming November ballot. Amendment 1 will change the state constitution to make clear that “only a citizen” of the state can vote. The state constitution currently states “every citizen” can vote. The change would not have a practical effect.
— But an increase in the state’s minimum wage very much would have an impact. Amendment 2 would bump the wage floor to $10 per hour starting in 2021. That number would then go up by $1 per hour each year until it hit $15 an hour in 2026. Orlando attorney John Morgan has supported the initiative.
— On the flip side, the Supreme Court has already thrown a so-called energy deregulation amendment in the trash. That proposal would have allowed individuals to buy energy from an outside market rather than pay their local utility. But in early January, justices called the measure “misleading.” The initiative had been bashed by business groups as well as the Attorney General and several organizations which support local government.
— A trio of proposals lacked the ingredients to appear on this year’s ballot. Those measures fell short on the signature front before even reaching the Supreme Court. The amendments would have, individually, legalized recreational marijuana; banned the possession of assault weapons; and expanded Medicaid coverage in the state. Backers of those policies could still target the 2022 ballot.
— Still cooking: Two additional proposals have hit the signature threshold and await final approval from the Supreme Court. Justices must sign off on each amendment’s proposed language. One measure would change Florida’s primary elections to a “top-two system.” In that structure, all candidates would appear on a single ballot, regardless of party, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election. The second initiative would require Florida voters to approve proposed amendments twice on two separate ballots for those amendments to take effect.
— WANNA BET? —
Looking to bet on Sunday’s Super Bowl in Miami? You have plenty of options. From point spreads to prop bets, here are some of the ways you can win (or lose) big Sunday night.
— Oddsmakers are expecting a close game between the Chiefs and 49ers. Most books have the Chiefs favored by either 1 or 1.5 points. According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, the only Super Bowl in the past 35 years with a line that tight was Super Bowl 49 between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, aka the “Marshawn Lynch game.” You may remember how that contest turned out to be pretty close.
— As for the over/under, most books have that number at 54 or 54.5 points. That means both teams are expected to score somewhere in the mid- to high-20s.
— OK, enough with the stuff you can bet on in every single sporting contest the entire year. There are multiple novelty bets tied to the game, such as selecting who will score the first touchdown. According to Bovada, Chiefs running back Damien Williams has the best odds at +650 (meaning you win $650 for betting $100). If you believe either team will succeed on a 2-point conversion, you’ll get +220 odds. And to truly test whether you have a gambling addiction, you can bet on the result of the coin toss, at -105 odds for heads or tails (meaning you have to bet $105 to win $100).
— But those aren’t the wonkiest betting options. You can wager on whether Demi Lovato’s microphone uses a black microphone to sing the national anthem (Yes: -250, No: +170). You can bet on how many Instagram posts the girlfriend of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will make on Sunday (Over 4.5: -105, Under 4.5: -135). And you can gamble on the total number of Trump tweets for the day (Over 13.5: +125, Under 13.5: -165).
— According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), approximately 26 million Americans plan to bet on the game, up 15% from last year’s Super Bowl. That’s thanks in part to a series of states legalizing sports betting in 2019. The AGA estimates $6.8 billion will be spent on Super Bowl bets — both legally and illegally.
— BRUNCHING OUT —
If you want to dine like a local, stop by Jenny’s Lunchbox, a favorite offbeat nook that will turn 21 this year. The place has long been attracting fans to this humble location, known for its generous servings of homey food at reasonable prices.
— Setting: Jenny’s, housed in a former service station on Magnolia Drive, features lots of lunchboxes hung around the restaurant, many of them vintage picks decorated with the likes of Betty Boop, Marilyn Monroe or James Dean — no surprise, given the restaurant’s name.
— The menu: Stop by on Fridays for all-the-pancakes-you-can-eat for $5 or on Wednesdays when you get a $1 off burgers. Spend an extra $1 to get farm-fresh eggs. Owner David Raney gets the eggs from chickens raised by his mom in her backyard. The menu includes large breakfast plates, omelets, corned beef hash, chicken and waffles, and lunch items like sandwiches, pulled pork, and grilled veggie and cheese.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. daily
GPS: 295 N. Magnolia Dr.
FYI: If the small parking lot is filled, park behind the building.