Last Call for 11.9.23 — 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.

Ed. Note — As the nation honors those who bravely served — and some who paid the ultimate price — Sunburn will be taking off for Veterans Day. Don’t worry; Florida Politics will return to your inboxes Saturday morning with Takeaways from Tallahassee. Thank you for your service! Have a safe and happy Veterans Day!

First Shot

It’s no secret that Senate President Kathleen Passidomo has made eliminating barriers to health care access a top priority for the 2024 Session.

To that end, the Naples Republican sent a memo to Senators on Wednesday announcing that the chamber’s Health Policy Committee will hold a public workshop on Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. on what she has been calling her “Live Healthy” initiative.

No other meetings have been scheduled during that time block “so every Senator has the opportunity to watch or attend the workshop,” Passidomo wrote.

She added that one of the primary goals of her initiative is “growing Florida’s health care workforce.”

The Senate President is concerned because state Department of Health data show there were 58,062 full-time physicians actively practicing in Florida in 2022. On average those doctors were aged 53. And 33% percent of them were over the age of 60, according to the DOH.

Another study shows that Florida faces a potential shortfall of nearly 18,000 physicians by 2035. The numbers are similarly gloomy for nurses — a similar study reported that in 2019, Florida’s registered nurse (RN) workforce was 11,500 shy of what was needed and that the state was also short by 5,600 licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

The deficits are projected to grow over the next decade, too, with the shortfalls potentially rising to 37,400 and 21,700 for RNs and LPNs, respectively.

“It is clear to me that we have work to do to make sure Florida’s health care workforce is growing — just like the rest of our state,” she wrote in the memo.

Evening Reads

—“Nothing is going to stop Donald Trump” via John Hendrickson of The Atlantic

—”0 winners and 5 losers from the third Republican presidential debate” via Andrew Prokop of Vox

—“Who won the third Republican debate?” via Holly Fuong, Aaron Bycoffe, Humera Lodhi and Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight

—”Florida approves plan lowering accountability goals for New College” via Divya Kumar of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Inside Ron DeSantis’ takeover of a Florida liberal arts college” via Dave Zirin of The Real News Network

—”Jeff Bezos, welcome back to a very different Florida from the one you left” via Craig Pittman of the Florida Phoenix

—”Another election, another sign the GOP could win with normie candidates” via Aaron Blake of The Washington Post

—“As Hollywood’s season of strikes comes to end, what are the lessons learned?” via Cynthia Littleton of Variety

Quote of the Day

“He’s the most famous former elected official in the world, the former Republican President, he’s at 40%. If Ronald Reagan ran in like ’88. Ronald Reagan would be getting 85 or 90%.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis, downplaying Donald Trump’s advantage in GOP Primary polls.

Put It on the Tab

Look to your left, then look to your right. If you see one of these people at your happy hour haunt, flag down the bartender and put one of these on your tab. Recipes included, just in case the Cocktail Codex fell into the well.

Snag DeSantis a Captain Defender for telling Vivek Ramaswamy — better known as “scum” after last night — to keep his mouth shut about candidates’ kids.

While you’re at it, tell the bartender to mix up an Old Fashioned, too. Just make sure they use Hella Bitters since DeSantis is now claiming Trump’s 2018 endorsement didn’t matter.

If you want to buy Rep. Dean Black a drink, get him a Lost Cause for his bill allowing the Governor to boot elected officials who move, remove or destroy Confederate monuments.

CEO Eric Green and the JAXPORT crew deserve a few Port of Calls for overseeing the movement of 877 pieces of military equipment, including dozens of aircraft, to support Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria.

It’s TGH Day at the Capitol! The hospital has logged a lot of accomplishments this year, including the first living donor liver transplant on Florida’s west coast. Coincidentally, a Liver Transplant is also a pretty tasty drink. Just don’t have too many, because … you know, you don’t actually want a liver transplant.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

7 p.m. — Chicago Blackhawks @ Tampa Bay Lightning

9:30 p.m. — Atlanta Hawks @ Orlando Magic


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.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
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