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Last Call for 3.25.20 — 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

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.

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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.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 1,867 FL residents (+284 since 11 a.m. Wednesday)

— 110 Non-FL residents (+11 since 11 a.m. Wednesday)

Origin:

— 358 Travel related

— 368 Contact with a confirmed case

— 230 Both

— 1,021 Under investigation

Deaths:

— 23 in FL

Evening Reads

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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Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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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, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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