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Last Call for 7.14.20 — 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

In the early days of the pandemic, Democratic lawmakers clamored for a Special Legislative Session to retool the state budget to account for dwindling state revenue.

Their calls went unheeded.

Now, four months into the crisis, Rep. Tina Polsky has renewed the request. Not for any fiscal reason, but so lawmakers can step in and roll back Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening guidelines.

Polsky said Tuesday she wanted lawmakers to institute a statewide closure of restaurants for indoor dining, gyms, shopping malls and houses of worship.

Her plea comes as the state continues to post 10,000-plus new coronavirus cases daily. Sunday’s total — 15,300 — was not only a record in the Sunshine State but the highest daily count among all states since the onset of the pandemic.

As of Tuesday morning, Florida had recorded 291,629 positive COVID-19 cases and 4,514 deaths from the virus.

“We cannot sit silently as Gov. DeSantis refuses to take action to slow the spread of COVID in Florida. “The pandemic is now more dangerous and widespread than ever, yet no additional precautions or further preparations seem to be underway,” Polsky said.

“This is the essence of either irresponsibility or incompetence — possibly both. Elected officials are required to make tough decisions, and as a legislator, I have a sworn duty to look out for the welfare of my constituents. It is past time for us to come back into Session in order to address actionable ways to keep our communities safe by slowing the spread of the coronavirus.”

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 287,789 FL residents (+9,122 since Monday)

— 3,840 Non-FL residents (+72 since Monday)

Origin:

— 2,922 Travel related

— 77,771 Contact with a confirmed case

— 2,846 Both

— 204,250 Under investigation

Hospitalizations:

— 18,881 in FL

Deaths:

— 4,514 in FL

Unemployment numbers

As of Monday:

Total claims: 3,056,842

— Confirmed unique claims: 2,847,627

— Claim verification queue: 244,286

— Claims processed: 2,603,341

— Claims paid: 1,694,621 (+7,710 since Sunday)

Total paid out: $10.07 billion (+$270 million since Sunday)

Evening Reads

Donald Trump administration rescinds foreign student visa guidance” via Axios

Republicans said to be planning to move some convention events outdoors” via Maggie Haberman of The New York Times

Kanye West’s short-lived attempt to get on the 2020 ballot” via Ben Jacob of New York Magazine

Suit filed against Ron DeSantis for not having sign-language interpreters at COVID briefings” via Carli Teproff of the Miami Herald

Mayor of Hialeah says DeSantis refused to let him into meeting to discuss COVID-19” via Arron Leibowitz and Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald

Governor sold First Lady on sending their hypothetically school-aged kids back to the classroom” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Nikki Fried takes to national media, says Floridians believe Gov. DeSantis ‘never cared about them’” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

9,194 new COVID-19 cases in Florida on Tuesday” via the staff of the Herald-Tribune

South Florida COVID-19 positivity rate nears weeks-long high” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths rise in Central Florida” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

First Coast home to more than 18,000 coronavirus cases” via Drew Dixon of Florida Politics

Pinellas Co. posts 26 new deaths as positivity rate climbs back up” via Janelle Irwin of Florida Politics

St. Petersburg Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman tests positive for coronavirus” via Margo Snipe of the Tampa Bay Times

Lawmaker denies using anti-gay slur during radio call” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

Political ad buys soar ahead of Florida’s August primary” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

Court weighs penalties for local gun regulations” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida

Quote of the Day

“My own wife, our kids aren’t school-aged yet, I tell her that they’re at zero risk, I have no problem putting them in, and I think that convinced her. She said she would do it too.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on convincing the first lady to send their hypothetically school-aged kids back to school.

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