Last Call for 4.24.24 — 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

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a pair of bills restocking the My Safe Florida Homes program with cash.

One measure (SB 7028) adds another $200 million to the program to help erase a backlog. It also prioritizes elderly, low-income residents for new grants.

The My Safe Florida Homes program provides free wind mitigation inspections for homeowners and offers matching grants of twice what the homeowner pays for an improvement project, but the grant is capped at $10,000. To be eligible, the homeowner must live in the home and have a homestead exemption on the property.

The other bill DeSantis signed (HB 1029) sets up a pilot program to expand the grants to make them available for condo associations. There’s $30 million in the main state budget to pay for the new program, and while the Legislature hasn’t formally sent the budget to DeSantis’ desk, he said that money will be available for the program when he signs it.

“Strong infrastructure is the best way to protect against the impacts of a future hurricane,” DeSantis said in a news release. “We are making investments that strengthen our state, help homeowners strengthen their homes, and increase our coastal protection against a storm.”

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis praised the legislation, saying the funding will help nearly 20,000 Florida homeowners harden their homes and thereby lower their property insurance premiums.

Both measures take effect July 1.

Evening Reads

—”What to make of the ‘zombie vote’ against Donald Trump” via Alex Lemonides and Christine Zhang of The New York Times

—”The Republicans who want American carnage” via Adam Serwer of The Atlantic

—”Why are so few Haitian refugees arriving by boat in Florida? Ron DeSantis has a theory — and claims credit” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

—”Florida Democrats insist: ‘Florida continues to be a battleground’” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix

—”Nikki Fried says Florida GOP bears ‘blood on its hand’ as abortion ban goes into effect” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

—”The growing pro-Palestinian protest movement, visualized” via Max Rust, Dan Frosch, Valerie Bauerlein and Taylor Umlauf of The Wall Street Journal

—”What the backlash to student protests over Gaza is really about” via Ellen Ioanes and Nicole Narea of Vox

—“On TikTok, resignation and frustration after potential ban of app” via Yiwen Lu of The New York Times

Quote of the Day

“Unfortunately, you can’t make up or fabricate something that’s now considered law.”

— Sen. Shevrin Jones, responding to Republican Party of Florida Chair Evan Power’s statement that abortion rights is a ‘manufactured issue.’

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.

Marco Rubio has been sounding off about TikTok for years, and now it appears his position on the controversial tech app has been vindicated. How about a Tick of the Clock for Florida’s senior U.S. Senator?

We’d suggest ordering a drink for potential CD 20 candidate Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell, but he already has his own line of rum.

According to the American Lung Association four in 10 Americans “live in places with unhealthy levels of air pollution.” The Sunshine State is not one of those places — and for that, we’re raising up a Fresh Air.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

Short-handed Heat looking for playoff hope in Boston

After dropping Game 1 of the best-of-seven NBA playoff series, the Miami Heat look to take home-court advantage from the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the series tonight (7 p.m. ET, TNT).

Boston dominated a contentious opener, winning 114-94 as Jason Tatum led the Celtics with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, and Derrick White added 20 for the top seeds in the East.

Bam Adebayo’s 24 points led Miami in the loss. The Heat played without Jimmy Butler who injured his knee in the play-in round. He is likely out for multiple weeks. Terry Rozier also missed the game with a neck injury.

Boston led from the outset, scoring the first 14 points of the game. Miami could never recover, pulling to within three early in the second quarter. The Heat never led in the game and the only tie was at 0-0.

Late in the game, with the Celtics up by 16, Tatum was knocked to the ground by Miami’s Caleb Martin as Tatum went for a rebound, touching off a scrum. Double technicals were called on Jaylen Brown and Martin, and cooler heads prevailed. 

Also tonight:

6:50 p.m. — Detroit Tigers @ Tampa Bay Rays


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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