Last Call for 2.8.24 — 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 House hit pause on a plan to regulate a potential adult-use cannabis market, but the bill’s sponsor says it’s still very much alive.

Republican Rep. Ralph Massullo, the sponsor, said he was still “tweaking” the bill (HB 1269) when asked why it was temporarily postponed in the House Health and Human Services Committee, his last. A proposed amendment ahead of the Committee ended up not being heard as a result. The proposal was for a 1g limit on THC per vape cart.

Massullo told Florida Politics that he and Chair Randy Fine “decided collectively” not to run the bill in Thursday’s committee. He added that he doesn’t like “smoking” and that he doesn’t think vaping is “particularly safe” either.

The House did move forward with a bill that would put the state in charge of regulating companies that deliver munchies.

SB 676, filed by GOP Sen. Jennifer Bradley of Clay County, would preempt the regulation of “food delivery platforms” — DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and others — that corral orders from multiple restaurants to the government in Tallahassee.

As advanced Thursday by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government, the bill requires delivery platforms to obtain restaurants’ written or electronic consent before picking up orders. They are needed to remove restaurants within 10 days of a request to do so, and platforms also couldn’t intentionally inflate or deflate restaurant pricing.

The Division of Hotels and Restaurants within the Department of Business and Professional Regulation would enforce this bill, expanding its staff and its mission.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are still developing plans for a tax-cut package, and it’s unclear whether one of the major pieces of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recommended tax plan will make the cut.

DeSantis pitched the idea of exempting homes with up to $750,000 worth of coverage from taxes, fees and assessments for one year as part of his budget recommendations to lawmakers. That part of the plan would save policyholders $409 million, and a permanent premium tax exemption on flood policies would save $22 million.

In the House, Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax plan, said Thursday that the insurance tax cut could make it in the final bill.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo previously said, “Obviously, it’s something that we’re looking at. I support the concept. Every little bit helps.”

Bill Day’s Latest

Evening Reads

—”The Supreme Court seems poised to reject efforts to kick Donald Trump off the ballot over the Capitol riot” via Mark Sherman of The Associated Press

—”Trump’s ‘knock on the door’” via Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic

—”The U.S. Virgin Islands is this week’s most interesting election” via Nathaniel Rakich of ABC News

—”How and why Florida lawmakers are pushing to end civilian police watchdog agencies” via Alyssa Johnson of the Miami Herald

—“Trash-talking Florida legislators push a pro-litter bill” via Craig Pittman of Florida Phoenix

—”Christian Ziegler wants to use Marsy’s Law. Police say he’s not a victim.” via Justin Garcia of the Tampa Bay Times

—”How Mark Meadows became the least trusted man in Washington” via Robert Draper of The New York Times

—”Why trad-life guys are fuming about legal weed” via Miles Klee of Rolling Stone

Quote of the Day

“A lot of the people represented under Marsy’s Law would likely feel hurt to learn this.”

— First Amendment Foundation executive director Bobby Block on Christian Ziegler’s attempt to exert victims’ rights protections.

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.

One thing is certain: Property insurance policyholders could use a drink. It’s just unclear whether they’ll be getting a Windfall or the Shaft.

Perhaps the folks at SAP would enjoy a nice Hefeweizen, but they don’t need you to pick up the tab — they’re already getting millions from the state to maintain the stone-age software handling HR, payroll and benefits solutions for the state.

Chiropractors’ efforts to get the green light to “dry needle” were met with critics trying to poke holes in the proposed legislation. Still, after an affirmative vote in the Senate Health Policy Committee, they deserve a Red Needle … which was apparently coined by the late great Leonard Cohen.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

There is a small matter to be settled this weekend in Las Vegas. Super Bowl LVIII — that’s 58 for you non-Romans — between the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers (6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS and Nickelodeon).

The Chiefs have a chance to make history as the first repeat champions since the New England Patriots won back-to-back Super Bowls following the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Chiefs beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl after the 2019 season.

The quarterbacks offer a study in contrast. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes is the clear choice as the best QB in the game. San Francisco’s Brock Purdy was the last pick in the 2023 NFL draft and became the 49ers starter in week 12 last season and has since proven to be a hidden gem. Purdy has won 17 of 21 regular season starts while throwing 41 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The case can be made for Purdy as the best late-round draft pick since Tom Brady was chosen in the sixth round in the 2000 draft.

The Niners are slight favorites and have more stars on the roster. But the biggest star on the field is Mahomes.

Since taking over as Kansas City’s starting quarterback in 2018, Mahomes has thrown 219 touchdowns and 62 interceptions, a ridiculous 3.5-to-1 touchdowns to interception ratio. He’s a two-time MVP and a two-time Super Bowl champion. National pundits are already talking about his place in the pantheon of NFL quarterbacks, some even saying that he should be considered the greatest of all time. That seems more like hot-take hyperbole, but his career trajectory could land him at the top of the heap when all is said and done. 

If Mahomes leads the Chiefs to a third Super Bowl win in five years, the word “dynasty” will be back in play. The only other teams to win at least three Super Bowls in five years are Brady’s Patriots, the 1990s Dallas Cowboys, and the Steelers of the 1970s.

Also tonight:

6 p.m. — NCAAW: Clemson Tigers @ Miami Hurricanes

6 p.m. — NCAAW: Arkansas Razorbacks @ Florida Gators

7 p.m. — NCAAW: Florida State Seminoles @ Pittsburgh Panthers

7 p.m. — Washington Capitals @ Florida Panthers

7 p.m. — NCAAW: Central Arkansas Bears @ Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

7 p.m. — NCAAM: Central Arkansas Bears @ JU Dolphins

7 p.m. — NCAAM: North Alabama Lions @ North Florida Ospreys

7 p.m. — San Antonio Spurs @ Orlando Magic

8 p.m. — Tampa Bay Lightning @ New York Islanders

9 p.m. — NCAAM: Florida Atlantic Owls @ UAB Blazers


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
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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