Last Call for 3.31.20 — 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

Five o’clock traffic is a distant memory for Floridians who’ve spent the last couple weeks cooped up at home. 

It’s likely one of the few things they don’t miss about the pre-coronavirus world, especially if their commute crosses over a construction zone. 

For them, the roads could look a bit different once the dust has settled and businesses and schools reopen post-coronavirus. 

During a Tuesday news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’s planning to “accelerate” certain infrastructure projects while the roads are empty. Taking advantage now, the Governor said, would be easier on drivers and workers than shutting down or closing lanes on busy roads post-outbreak. 

Still, details on the plan are scant — no whens, wheres or hows were mentioned. DeSantis said those details would be released by his office on Wednesday. 

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 6,490 FL residents (+394 since 11 a.m. Tuesday)

— 251 Non-FL residents (+9 since 11 a.m. Tuesday)


— 737 Travel related

— 1,002 Contact with a confirmed case

— 458 Both

— 4,293 Under investigation


— 85 in FL

Evening Reads

More people have now died in the US in pandemic than on 9/11” via John Bacon of the USA Today

Mike Pompeo urges Americans abroad wanting to return home to ‘do so immediately’” via Jayme Deerwester of the USA Today

Rick Scott calls for congressional inquiry into WHO’s coronavirus response” via Andrew Desiderio of POLITICO

FDA authorizes two-minute testing kit to detect coronavirus via Marisa Fernandez of Axios

Scientist cited by White House told Florida: Shut state down” via David Smiley and Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald

Pandemic shakes Florida’s consumer confidence, survey finds” via Richard Danielson of the Tampa Bay Times

Ron DeSantis was warned about Florida’s broken unemployment website last year, audit shows” via Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times

DeSantis seizes on coronavirus to launch Florida road projects” via POLITICO Florida

Education Commissioner officially recommends K-12 students remain off campus until at least May 1st” via Sarah Mueller of Florida Politics

Lawmakers urge Gov. DeSantis to impose statewide moratorium on evictions” via John Kennedy of the USA Today Network

Health officials worried changes could thwart additional funding” via Christine Sexton of the News Service of Florida

3 state troopers, one from Lake Worth, test positive” via Ana Ceballos of the News Service of Florida

Broward County delays vote on allowing sick cruise ship to come to Florida” via Lisa Huriash of the Sun-Sentinel

City Hall could offer $30 million in loans, aid to small businesses” via Christopher Hong of The Florida Times-Union

‘It’s catastrophic.’ Coronavirus forces Florida farmers to scrap food they can’t sell” via Carlos Frias and Kevin Hall of the Miami Herald

State loses latest bid to curtail felon voting” via Bobby Calvan of the Associated Press

Florida’s voter registration system experiences ‘intermittent issues’” via Allison Ross of the Tampa Bay Times

As millions struggle, Andrew Gillum’s Forward Florida keeps asking for money” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“You’re damn right. Whatever you do, you’re going to have a class of folks who just do whatever the hell they want to.” — Ron DeSantis, on people still gathering at beaches in South Florida.

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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, Jason Delgado, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

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