Last Call for 7.27.21 — 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

Retailers are expecting a record-breaking back-to-school shopping season this year. Florida is hoping to ease costs with its annual school supply tax holiday.

Americans are forecast to drop more than $108 billion in back-to-school spending this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $848.90 on school items, which is $59 more than last year.

Forecast spending on college students is up even more. An average of $1,200.32 is expected to be spent on college or university items, increasing $141 over last year.

Across education levels, the most expensive spending category is expected to be electronics.

Retailers expect back-to-school spending to be blockbuster this year.

Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, wants Floridians to spend their back-to-school money locally.

“School supplies are essential to learning, and now you can save when you stock up for a new school year,” Shalley said in a written statement. “Remember to ‘Find It In Florida’ and support your local retailers when checking off the items on your back-to-school lists. Many retail stores are offering additional savings to help you cut costs this year.”

About 70% of families plan to start shopping at least three weeks before school, which, in most school districts, coincides with Florida’s Back to School Sales Tax holiday that begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 9.

During the week, shoppers can purchase tax-free clothing, accessories, footwear, and backpacks that cost $60 or less, school supplies that cost $15 or less, and the first $1,000 of a computer or computer accessories will be tax-free.

The Florida Department of Revenue published all the rules around the tax exemption.

Evening Reads

As virus cases rise, another contagion spreads among the vaccinated: anger” via Roni Caryn Rabin of The New York Times

Police officers give Congress a front-row seat to the trauma of our politics” via Grace Segers of The New Republic

Progressive denial won’t stop violent crime” via Zaid Jilani of The Atlantic

The courts are destroying America’s ability to fight pandemics” via Ian Millhiser of Vox

How a special election in Texas’s 6th district will test Donald Trump’s influence on the GOP” via Alex Samuels of FiveThirtyEight

Simone Biles and the price of being a GOAT” via Barry Svrlyga of The Washington Post

Work-from-anywhere perks give Silicon Valley a new edge in talent war” via Katherine Bindley of The Wall Street Journal

Olympics throws lifeline to streaming stragglers” via Andrew Wallenstein of Variety

What is Adam Kinzinger’s long game here?” via Jim Newell of Slate

Oh good, now there’s an outbreak of wildfire thunderclouds” via Matt Simon of WIRED

Toyota bet wrong on EVs, so now it’s lobbying to slow the transition” via Tim De Chant of Ars Technica

Why Canadian dads are more involved in raising their kids than American fathers” via Kevin Shafer for The Conversation

Quote of the Day

“I shudder to think about what would have happened had you not held that line.” — U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, thanking Capitol Police Officer Daniel Hodges for securing her escape on Jan. 6.

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