Last Call for 2.16.23 — 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

Gov. Ron DeSantis did the unthinkable: He got Gators and Seminoles in the same room and put a smile on all their faces.

The occasion was a bill-signing ceremony for HB 7B, a repeal of the state’s name, image and likeness laws that passed during last week’s Special Session.

Sponsored by Rep. Chip LaMarca, the repeal brings the state in line with NCAA rules governing NIL deals, which allow student-athletes to earn money for endorsements and other deals without jeopardizing their eligibility to play.

The law aims to level the playing field for Florida schools on the recruiting trail. In 2020, Florida pre-empted the NCAA and passed its own NIL bill — also sponsored by LaMarca — that authorized the practice but prohibited universities from directly facilitating NIL deals.

Schools are still prohibited from directly playing players but no longer need to beat around the bush when discussing NIL opportunities. Universities and Florida sports fans alike say the prior framework put them at a disadvantage against other schools, many of them conference rivals, competing for blue-chip recruits.

The law also requires student-athletes to take two financial literacy, life skills and entrepreneurship workshops before graduation. The requirement is intended to inform athletes of the responsibilities and nuances of NIL deals.

“In 2020, we took a commonsense approach to ensure that student-athletes could control their name, image and likeness and be paid fairly for it,” DeSantis said. “Now that the NCAA has taken necessary steps to ensure fairness for student-athletes, we can focus on making sure that those athletes are supported and protected under the law.”

Evening Reads

—“Judge tosses challenge to Parental Rights in Education law, derided by critics as ‘Don’t Say Gay’” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics

—“The contradictions of Ron DeSantis” via Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic

—”Rick Scott’s radical proposal to let Medicare and Social Security lapse, explained” via Dylan Scott of Vox

—“Florida’s lawmaker meetings, other public spaces stay gun-free under permitless carry bill” via Skyler Swisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

—”State-controlled Disney World government board is ripe for ‘political mischief,’ expert says” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics

—“Florida lawmakers move to give DeSantis control over school athletics board” via Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Ashley Moody unleashes McGruff the Crime Dog in fentanyl fight” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics 

—“Mario Díaz-Balart, Jared Moskowitz refile Parkland-inspired EAGLES Act to prevent targeted school violence” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics

—“Resilient Florida hits $1B in spending since 2021 inception” via Wes Wolfe of Florida Politics

—”Addiction expert urges House members to address technology addiction among school children” via Issac Morgan of Florida Politics

—”Bevy of attack ads target Charlie Stone as HD 24 Primary nears” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

—”Only in Florida? Family’s pool shaped like six-shooter gun” via Zachary Carnell of Fresh Take Florida

Quote of the Day

“In Texas, you had people openly carry in front of their state Legislature. What makes Texans any different than Floridians?”

Luis Valdes, Florida director of Gun Owners of America, criticizing carveouts in the permitless carry bill.

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Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.

Staff Reports


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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