Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Breaking — Joel Greenberg has resigned as Seminole County Tax Collector, facing federal criminal charges relating to a case where he allegedly harassed a school employee who has been reported in some media to be his reelection challenger. Greenberg’s resignation took effect at 5 p.m.
Questions are still swirling about what Gov. Ron DeSantis will cut from the state’s $93.2 billion spending plan, but one thing is clear: It won’t be teacher pay.
On Wednesday, the Governor signed legislation to boost teacher salaries at the cost of $500 million in state money.
“Although we have not made every decision about the budget, I can report this will be there 100%,” he said. “We’re going to have to make tough choices, but this is important.”
Raising teacher pay was one of DeSantis’ stated priorities heading into the 2020 Legislative Session — he went so far as to call 2020 the “year of the teacher.”
The 2020 Legislative Session saw plenty of back and forth over how raises should be handled. DeSantis’ original plan would have raised starting pay to $47,500. The Legislature’s final product puts $400 million toward raising starting salaries and $100 million for teachers already making more than the set minimum.
The state’s largest teacher union, the Florida Education Association, was vocal and at times critical throughout the policy debate. After weeks of coronavirus-induced limbo, the union celebrated Wednesday’s signing.
“This $500 million investment in Florida’s teachers is especially meaningful given the current circumstances. It speaks to the deep value of public education to our state’s future,” FEA president Fedrick Ingram said.
“We’ve all heard the reports that many issues, including some of the Governor’s priorities, are on the chopping block for vetoes. The decision to leave this investment for Florida’s schools intact is an acknowledgment of the hard work our members do each and every day for Florida’s students.
“We thank Gov. DeSantis for signing this very important bill into law, and we look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to ensure Florida’s public schools move from the bottom in the nation to the top when it comes to per-student spending,” he concluded.
— 101,306 FL residents (+5,437 since Tuesday)
— 2,271 Non-FL residents (+71 since Tuesday)
— 2,407 Travel related
— 44,098 Contact with a confirmed case
— 2,341 Both
— 57,897 Under investigation
— 13,574 in FL
— 3,281 in FL
As of Tuesday:
Total claims: 2,642,556
— Confirmed unique claims: 2,441,668
— Claim verification queue: 130,243
— Claims processed: 2,311,425
— Claims paid: 1,535,377 (+9,236 since Monday)
Total paid out: $7.29 billion (+$50 million since Monday)
“‘Coming back and biting us’: U.S. sees virus make a comeback” via Nomaan Merchant and Juan Lozano of The Associated Press
“Joe Biden takes a dominant lead as voters reject Donald Trump on virus and race” via Alexander Burns, Jonathan Martin and Matt Stevens of The New York Times
“Senate confirms 200th judicial nominee from Trump, a legacy that will last well beyond November” via John Wagner of The Washington Post
“Senate Democrats block GOP policing bill” via Kristina Peterson and Natalie Andrews of The Wall Street Journal
“Ted Deutch and Marco Rubio support making Juneteenth a federal holiday” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“U.S. inmates got virus relief checks, and IRS wants them back” via Rebecca Boone of The Associated Press
“Florida reported over 5,500 new COVID-19 cases, crushing previous record” via Colin Wolf of Creative Loafing
“Florida’s COVID caseload continues its relentless surge, adding 5,500+ cases overnight” via Michael Moline of The Florida Phoenix
“Deleting deaths? Former Florida COVID-19 data scientist says numbers cooked” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
“Florida visitors told to quarantine by New York, New Jersey, Connecticut” via The Associated Press
“Jacksonville records triple-digit increase (again) in COVID-19 cases” via Drew Dixon of Florida Politics
“Coronavirus outbreak accelerates in greater-Orlando region” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“COVID-19 has ‘exacerbated educational disparities’ for Black students, former Education Secretary tells Congress” via Allison Winter of Florida Phoenix
“Governor extends allowing remote local meetings” via the News Service of Florida
“Congressional Democrats urge Ron DeSantis to meet with them on COVID” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Despite budget hardships, Gov. DeSantis signs teacher pay raises” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics
“The Republican choice” via Clare Malone of FiveThirtyEight
“As the RNC preps for Jacksonville, voters brace for coronavirus and social unrest” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO
“Jimmy Patronis casts stones at Tri-State leaders on Twitter, calls Northeast ‘Haven of High Taxes’” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics
“Walton County commission votes to keep Confederate flag, rejecting new pleas” via The Associated Press
“Reappointments of university presidents confirmed” via the News Service of Florida
Quote of the Day
“People naturally want to do things. If I was 25, I’d be probably with them. I mean, that’s just realistic. I can sit here and try to act like I wouldn’t, but I remember what it was like then.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on young people gathering despite the surge in coronavirus cases.
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