Last Call for 12.8.20 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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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

Sen. Kathleen Passidomo didn’t sugarcoat the state’s short-term fiscal outlook when she addressed attendees at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation, Growth & Infrastructure Solution Summit this afternoon.

“We’re going to tighten our belts. We have less revenue,” she said, borrowing a line from Senate President Wilton Simpson.

She added, “We face significant challenges this year. We continue to face the threat of COVID-19. It’s impacting every part of our state — the health of our people, the jobs available to our workers, the ability to get our work done, the overall economy and the revenue collections to support government services.”

But the Naples Republican didn’t linger on the doom and gloom.

To Passidomo, the challenges facing the state — and lawmakers in the 2021 Legislative Session — should be viewed as an opportunity.

“While we have to do more with less, we cannot neglect our state’s infrastructure because infrastructure — housing, transportation and water resources — is important to our state’s long-term prosperity,” she said.

“Despite all the challenges facing the state, Florida remains a top destination for people to move as more and more people move here every day. While that growth can be viewed as a challenge for our infrastructure system, I believe it is an opportunity for our economy to continue to grow and our state to prosper — if we get the policy right.”

Passidomo said some goals outlined in the Florida Chamber’s Florida 2030 road map align with the Legislature’s, specifically increasing affordable housing inventory, but also on transportation and the environment.

“In my view, all these pieces are connected. We have to get our roads right to support our businesses, our housing system right to serve our citizens, and our environment right to keep Florida the place everyone wants to live, work, play, raise a family and to retire,” she concluded.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 1,056,065 FL residents (+7,801 since Monday)

— 17,705 Non-FL residents (+184 since Monday)

Origin:

— 9,569 Travel related

— 401,239 Contact with a confirmed case

— 11,640 Both

— 625,816 Under investigation

Hospitalizations:

— 56,607 in FL

Deaths:

— 19,529 in FL

Evening Reads

Britain launches the West’s first mass coronavirus vaccination — with a Maggie and a William Shakespeare first in line” via William Booth and Karla Adam of The Washington Post

Why I chose Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense” via Joe Biden for The Atlantic

‘Quite frankly shocking’: U.S. virus deaths hit record levels” via The Associated Press

Donald Trump’s options dwindle as safe harbor deadline looms” via Josh Gerstein of POLITICO

Mitch McConnell calls for COVID-19 aid bill excluding liability shield, state aid” via Andrew Duehren and Kristina Peterson of The Wall Street Journal

Texas Attorney General asks Supreme Court to block Joe Biden victory in 4 states” via Chuck Lindell of USA Today

Trump plots mass pardons, even to people not asking” via Jonathan Swan of Axios

Joe Geller files National Popular Vote bill, sees greater urgency for change than ever” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Rebekah Jones raid social media reaction from celebrities, scientists: ‘Get to the bottom of this’” via Jennifer Sangalang of The Tallahassee Democrat

Sea level rise could flood thousands of Miami’s affordable housing spots, research shows” via Alex Harris and Yadira Lopez of the Miami Herald

Florida launches ‘strong case’ for Space Force Command” via Jim Turner of The News Service of Florida

Federal judge postpones NRA case, other trials” via Dara Kam of The News Service of Florida

Challenge to Leon mask mandate dismissed” via The News Service of Florida

Sarasota and Florida government officials flout mask guidance” via Carlos Munoz of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Marie Woodson tests positive for COVID-19 along with husband, two children” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

Bevy of Mayors backing Manny Diaz’s bid for FDP chair” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“Even if a legitimate warrant is served, there is no need to enter the home of someone with no history or suspicion of violence with guns drawn.” — Sen. Shevrin Jones, on FDLE raiding former Department of Health data manager Rebekah Jones’ home.

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