Last Call for 5.14.24 — 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

Tallahassee-based think tank Florida TaxWatch will release its most anticipated report of the year on Wednesday.

The 2024 Budget Turkey Watch Report goes over the 2024-25 budget with a fine-toothed comb to identify spending that “circumvented a thoughtful and thorough budget process.”

The annual report typically finds tons of turkeys — last year, Florida Tax Watch identified nearly $600 million in spending inserted into the budget late in the negotiation process or that otherwise bypassed debate.

The budget turkey list comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ 2024-25 budget awaits approval. DeSantis has line-item veto power.

The budget passed by lawmakers this year measured in at $113.6 billion, slightly down from the $116.5 billion plan approved for the current fiscal year.

DeSantis trimmed more than $500 million from the current-year budget through line-item vetoes, with some of the items he crossed out also holding a spot on Florida TaxWatch’s 2023 budget turkey list.

Florida TaxWatch will release its report during a 10 a.m. news conference at its headquarters in Tallahassee, 106 North Bronough St.

Evening Reads

—”Donald Trump is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of being a cad” Dana Milbank of The Washington Post

—”How has Trump changed the GOP? His criminal-trial guest list tells the tale.” via Shane Goldmacher of The New York Times

—”Joe Biden’s weakness with young voters isn’t about Gaza” via Rose Horowitch of The Atlantic

—”How the authoritarian Middle East became the capital of Silicon Valley” via Elizabeth Dwoskin, Ellen Nakashima, Nitasha Tiku and Cat Zakrzewski of The Washington Post

—”Why the world has gone cuckoo for copper” via Julie Steinberg of The Wall Street Journal

—”Why Florida medical marijuana companies are pushing so hard for recreational pot” via Ivy Nyayieka and Kirby Wilson of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Group backing recreational pot measure hits airwaves” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics

—“The most shameful law Florida passed this year” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel

—”Something weird is happening with tornadoes” via Li Zhou of Vox

Quote of the Day

“Calling for the annihilation of an ethnic group amounts to genocide. Patients deserve to be protected from this violent and dangerous individual.”

— Former Rep. Joe Geller, joining Rep. Randy Fine in seeking sanctions against antisemitic dentist Fadi Kablawi.

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.

Everyone needs a Backup Plan. For the Board of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., that’s a $5.5 billion reinsurance coverage purchase ahead of hurricane season.

Fadi Kablawi will need more than a Novocain now that the Florida Legislative Jewish Caucus is joining Rep. Randy Fine in demanding he face consequences for his antisemitic rhetoric.

The team at Publix deserves something nice to celebrate the donation of 100 million pounds of produce to Feeding America — assuming they still have a few limes left over, how about a classic Mojito or Gimlet?

Breakthrough Insights


Tune In

Panthers look to advance

The Florida Panthers are a win away from the Eastern Conference Finals as they prepare to host the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of their playoff series (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Florida leads the series 3-1 after rallying from two goals down in the second period on Sunday to win 3-2. Sam Bennett and Aleksander Barkov scored goals less than four minutes apart in the third period to clinch the victory for the Panthers.

After dropping the series opener at home, Florida, the top seed in the Atlantic Division, has won three straight to move to within a victory of advancing.

Teams leading series 3-1 are dominant historically, as would be expected. The Panthers have won all three series in their history when leading a series 3-1. The Bruins are 0-25 all-time when trailing 3-1.

In any event, expect goals to be scored in Game 5. Panthers’ games have included at least five goals in 21 of the teams’ past 22 games including the regular season and postseason. 

If the Panthers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, they will face the winner the winner of the New York Rangers-Carolina Hurricanes series. The Rangers lead the best-of-seven 3-2.

Also tonight:

6:40 p.m. — Miami Marlins @ Detroit Tigers


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


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  • the devil

    May 14, 2024 at 8:45 pm

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  • the devil

    May 14, 2024 at 9:37 pm

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Comments are closed.


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