Last Call for 5.28.24 — 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

Florida’s sales tax holiday on disaster preparedness items — the first of two this year — starts Saturday and runs through June 15.

Tallahassee lawmakers Sen. Corey Simon and Rep. Allison Tant will join Florida Retail Federation VP Lorena Holley and others on Wednesday at the Apalachee Ridge Estates Technology and Learning Center to promote awareness of the holiday among consumers. The event begins at 9 a.m.

The sales tax holiday coincides with the beginning of hurricane season, which is expected to be especially active this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts an 85% chance of above-normal storms and possibly four to seven major hurricanes this year.

They’ll hand out hurricane kits and discuss the importance of hurricane preparedness. Items included in the holiday run the gamut from generators and batteries to pet food. Click here for a list of the items that will be sales tax-free.

The second sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness items will run from Aug. 24-Sept. 6.

The holiday was one of four sales tax holiday breaks included in SB 7073, the tax cut package signed by DeSantis on May 7. Others are the back-to-school sales tax holiday running July 29-Aug. 4; the holiday for tools Sept. 1-7; and the sales tax holiday on event tickets and outdoor goods that will last all of July.

Evening Reads

—“Eyeing Donald Trump, but on the fence: How tuned-out voters could decide 2024” via Katie Glueck and Nick Corasaniti of The New York Times

—”Trump elevates a conservative ‘Warrior’ on education” via Alexandra Berzon and Michael C. Bender of The New York Times

—”The obscure federal intelligence bureau that got Vietnam, Iraq and Ukraine right” via Dylan Matthews of Vox

—“When desegregation came to Harlan County, USA: An oral history” via Kadira L. Brown of The Washington Post

—“Following North Florida, Tampa Bay redistricting concerns, ACLU lawsuit targets South Florida maps” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix

—”Pop! Culture: I survived bottle service boot camp” via Jess Swanson of the Miami New Times

—”Streaming bundles are here, and you may need a Ph.D. to navigate the options” via David Marcelis, Amol Sharma and Nate Rattner of The Wall Street Journal

—”The unbearable greatness of Novak Djokovic” via Scott Stossel of The Atlantic

Quote of the Day

“Nothing prevents the people of Florida and other affected States from revising their jury practices to ensure no government in this country may send a person to prison without the unanimous assent of 12 of his peers.”

— Justice Neil Gorsuch, dissenting on SCOTUS’ decision to reject a review of a Florida case challenging 6-person juries.

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.

MAGA-wannabe Eddie Speir was already a long shot to oust U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, but Donald Trump delivered the kill shot when he endorsed the incumbent. Help him process the grief with a Game Over.

Start building those hurricane kits! While the basics — tarps, flashlights, coolers and more — will be sales-tax-free June 1-15, you can start restocking your liquor cabinet now. Here’s your checklist of the essentials.

You should order absolutely nothing for teen drivers. That’s the proper policy year-round, but it’s doubly so during the “100 Deadliest Day for Teen Drivers,” which just began.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

Panthers look to even playoff series

The Florida Panthers look to recapture home-ice advantage against the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals tonight in Miami (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Florida took the first game of the best-of-seven series in New York, but the Rangers rebounded to win the last two games including Sunday’s matchup, 5-4 in overtime. The Rangers, who led the NHL with 114 points, can take a stranglehold on the series if they win their third straight game.

The Panthers were as good at home as on the road during the regular season, winning 26 games at Amerant Bank Arena, the most home wins in the Atlantic Division. The Rangers were excellent on the road this season, winning 25 games away from Madison Square Garden.

It is not easy to come back from a 3-1 deficit in a seven-game series but the Panthers have experience. Florida became the 32nd team in NHL playoff history to win a playoff series when down 3-1 last season when they knocked off the top-seeded Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Florida Panthers have never won a Stanley Cup.


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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