Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
The state budget has a little extra wiggle room. Senate President Bill Galvano sent a memo out to fellow lawmakers Wednesday summarizing the most recent revenue estimates from the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
Per the report, January sales tax collections came in $48.6 million above estimates.
In all, state revenues have beaten expectations by $141.1 million this year. It’s welcome news considering the expected — and likely major — drop in tax revenues once state economists release tax collection stats for March. The report for March will come late next month with the April report following in late-May.
Once those reports are in hand, state economists will have the data they need to fully reevaluate their tax revenue estimates.
A statewide stay-at-home order hasn’t been issued, but that hasn’t stopped cities and counties from taking the reins and setting up their own restrictions.
This week, Alachua, Leon, Orange and Osceola counties issued stay-at-home orders, with several cities following suit. Florida Politics is keeping track of the local orders and compiling them for our readers.
Go ahead and bookmark it — the page will be updated as new orders drop.
— 1,867 FL residents (+284 since 11 a.m. Wednesday)
— 110 Non-FL residents (+11 since 11 a.m. Wednesday)
— 358 Travel related
— 368 Contact with a confirmed case
— 230 Both
— 1,021 Under investigation
— 23 in FL
“Senate readies vote on massive coronavirus rescue package” via Sarah Ferris of POLITICO
“DHS wound down pandemic models before coronavirus struck” via Daniel Lippman of POLITICO
“Anthony Fauci becomes a fringe MAGA target” via Tina Nguyen of POLITICO
“’We are your future’: Will all of America become like New York?” via Ben Schreckinger and Amanda Eisenberg of POLITICO
“Donald Trump declares major disaster in Florida over coronavirus” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics
“Rick Scott demands reduced unemployment benefits in coronavirus relief bill” via Alex Daugherty of the Miami Herald
“Coronavirus is fueling Scott’s embrace of government” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO
“Marco Rubio leads bipartisan effort to help small businesses in COVID-19 package” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Joe Biden criticizes Ron DeSantis’ cautious coronavirus response in Florida” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times
“DeSantis goes on jeremiad in defense of coronavirus response tactics” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Congressional Democrats join call for DeSantis to lockdown Florida” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“As Florida’s economy crashes, DeSantis says he’s going ahead with $543 million in tax refunds for corporations” via Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel
“Laws shut Uber, GrubHub, other gig workers out of Florida unemployment benefits” via Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel
“The big out: Orange County’s stay-at-home order’s ‘essential businesses’ is a long list” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Hillsborough to enact evening curfew and countywide ‘safer-at-home’ order for coronavirus” via Richard Danielson of the Tampa Bay Times
“Pinellas orders county to stay at home amid coronavirus, first in Tampa Bay to enact measure” via Mark Puente and Tracey McManus of the Tampa Bay Times
“Sarasota County can’t issue a lockdown, its attorney says” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“Broward Superintendent expects remainder of school year to be conducted remotely” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics
“Inside American Airlines’ scramble as virus grounds jets by hundreds” via David Gelles of The New York Times
“Saving times equates to saving lives in getting patient information to medical professionals during coronavirus crisis” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics
Quote of the Day
“We’re going to continue to do some level of social distancing. But I think that there’s ways you can do that and still have a society that is doing more than simply on lockdown.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on why no statewide stay-at-home order has been issued.
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