Last Call for 5.5.21 — 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 Special Session on gambling is set.

Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls announced Wednesday that the Legislature will convene May 17-21 to consider the proposed new Seminole Compact.

In a memo, Sprowls said House committee meetings would be held May 17-18. Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee is set to take up the proposal May 17 and consider it on the chamber floor May 18.

The new compact, which the Governor and Seminole Tribe hammered out last month, would boost state revenues by an estimated $2.5 billion over five years and by $6 billion through 2030.

The Special Session will also see lawmakers take up a gaming package proposed during the Regular Session to establish a gaming commission and remove horse race and jai alai game requirements for pari-mutuels to offer other forms of gambling, a concept known as decoupling.

To brush up on the nuances of gaming law, lawmakers will get a crash course on gaming in Florida next week. According to a joint memo issued by Simpson and Sprowls, the classes will be held May 11-12 and will cover the history of gaming in Florida and provide an overview of tribal compacts.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to make sure you have all the information you need, before you need it,” the proclamation says. “We believe these courses will provide the necessary framework to have a productive and efficient Special Session, as well as allow ample opportunity to have your questions answered.”

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 2,211,728 FL residents (+4,306 since Tuesday)

— 42,201 Non-FL residents (+88 since Tuesday)


— 17,743 Travel related

— 883,627 Contact with a confirmed case

— 24,078 Both

— 1,286,280 Under investigation


— 91,425 in FL


— 36,184 in FL


— 14,981,650 Doses administered

— 9,037,042 Total people vaccinated

— 2,503,976 First dose

— 588,458 Completed one-dose series (+24,483 since Tuesday)

— 5,944,608 Completed two-dose series (+88,105 since Tuesday)

Evening Reads

Facebook board upholds Donald Trump ban, just not an indefinite one” via Matt O’Brien And Barbara Ortutay of The Associated Press

Explaining the Facebook decision, its implications and the board’s limits” via Shira Ovide of The New York Times

Federal judge vacates CDC’s nationwide eviction moratorium” via Kyle Swenson of The Washington Post

Poll: Floridians say their votes should decide gambling issue” via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times

Joe Biden has the power to vaccinate the world. He should use it.” via Chelsea Clinton and Achal Prabhala for The Atlantic

A mother, separated from her children at the border, comes home” via Jonathan Blitzer of The New Yorker

Biden’s push for big government solutions is popular now — but it could backfire” via Daniel Cox of FiveThirtyEight

Everything screams inflation” via James Mackintosh of The Wall Street Journal

Ron DeSantis blasts CDC: ‘I want the cruise ships going’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Gov. DeSantis faces pressure to veto bills; last year he kiboshed just 5” via Jim Turner of The News Service of Florida

Day One of Florida Governor race exceeds expectations” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Gov. DeSantis touts first responder bonuses with anti-‘defund the police’ message” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

Florida program to help brain-damaged kids embraces reforms it once opposed. Promises more” via Carol Marbin Miller and Daniel Chang of the Miami Herald

Despite the Governor’s order, you’ll still need a mask in many places” via Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel

Theater professionals accused Brian Clowdus of racism. Now he’s running for HD 6.” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Driscoll’s desperately needs to know America’s appetite for strawberries” via Jesse Newman of The Wall Street Journal

Blue Origin opens auction for 1st passenger on New Shepard rocket to space in July” via Richard Tribou of the Orlando Sentinel

Peloton issues recall for its treadmills weeks after denying they were to blame in child’s death, many injuries” via Joseph Pisani of The Associated Press

Quote of the Day

“One thing I have learned over the last few days and over this weekend is, while I think it’s a very well-written Compact, there are other large, financially very strong entities out there that aren’t the Tribe and aren’t the state of Florida, that really don’t like this Compact.” — House Democratic Co-Leader Evan Jenne, on the new Seminole Compact.

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