January 13, 2012

Daily Digest for Friday, 1/13

Daily Digest for 1/13

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The first Friday of the 2012 legislative session shapes up as a quiet day.

Five Stories To Think About Today

* The House Education Committee has invited the presidents of two of the state's flagship universities to discuss their missions. They are UF's Bernie Machen and FSU's Eric Barron (9 a.m. - 12 noon).

* More fallout from prison closings? It doesn't take long for a political brush fire to become a raging inferno in the Capitol, and the state's planned shutdown of seven prisons promises to be controversial.

* Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam pays a visit to an Orlando school to personally inspect the nutritional value of school lunches.

* Two Democratic House members,  Reps. Darren Soto and Scott Randolph of Orlando, will hold a press conference on their legislation to remove the governor's power to fill vacancies in appointed or elected county offices.

* What's Gov. Rick Scott up to? The governor's schedule offers daily clues as to his priorities, through his selection of radio and TV appearances, speeches and other events.


Three Issues You Missed Yesterday

* Another two Spanish ad in South Florida, and only one of them is not for Mitt Romney.

* A school bus advertising bill cleared its House subcommittee. Next stop, Education subcommittee.

* Florida is planning to close at least seven prisons by July 1.


Who To Watch Today/Quotable Quotes

* Gov. Rick Scott. With STEM on the menu for his meeting with UF and FSU presidents, will we hear a rehash of anthropology-bashing?

January 12, 2012

Daily Digest for Thursday, 1/12

Five Stories To Think About Today

* Gov. Rick Scott's cost-saving measures in his budget proposal include shutting six prisons because of a drop in the inmate population. The big question is, which prisons? Closing a prison means eliminating jobs, and that is very painful in small-town Florida, where most prisons are located. The Department of Corrections will propose to the Legislature which ones to shutter Thursday.

* Also Thursday, state economists will revisit the state's revenue picture and update it for lawmakers in a process known as a revenue estimating conference. If the latest projection is not rosy, that's bad news for health care and education programs.

* Several of Scott's agency heads face confirmation hearings in the Senate, including corrections chief Ken Tucker and elder affairs secretary Charles Corley. No major fireworks are expected; it's rare for lawmakers to put a high-level bureaucrat on the hot seat in public.

* Legislation that would outlaw texting while driving gets its second committee hearing. The bill (SB 416) is sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice.

* The Florida Chamber of Commerce starts its annual Capitol Days, promoting its pro-business agenda, with events at the Capitol, the Governor's Club and Hotel Duval in Tallahassee.

Three Issues You Missed Yesterday

* The Senate Redistricting committee passed its maps Wednesday afternoon.

* A House panel approved a new no-fault PIP system that would require most people injured in accidents to visit an emergency room within 72 hours.

* The RNC rules panel approved punishments for Florida Republicans because of the state's moved-up primary date. Among the punishments: lousy floor space, reduced-priority hotel rooms and no VIP or guest passes for delegates.


Who To Watch Today/Quotable Quotes

* “This is ridiculous! Have a conscience." -Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, to Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights.

January 11, 2012

Daily Digest for Wednesday, 1/11

Five Stories To Think About Today

 * Florida's Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, is supposedly going to hand his resignation to the Governor today. Who will be appointed in the interim?

* The 22-member Senate Reapportionment Committee casts its first vote on a proposed remapping of all 27 congressional districts, including two new ones as a result of population growth. It looks like Rep. Allen West is most likely to be on the chopping block.

* The Proposed Committee Substitute for House Bill 119 will overhaul the state's no fault insurance system, creating a new system with a completely new approach for treating auto accident victims. Keep an eye on this.

* The House Business and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee is the latest to take up the issue of gaming, inviting public testimony from supporters and opponents. Will also be heard: cutting unemployment compensation tax for Florida businesses.

* The House Subcommittee on Community and Military Affairs will vote on House Bill 609, which would prevent local governments from enacting wage theft protection ordinances. This is particularly important in counties with large immigrant communities, like Miami-Dade.


Three Issues You Missed Yesterday

* Governor Rick Scott gave his State of the State address, pledging $1 billion in additional funding for 
education. About 50 protestors were not allowed into the Senate chamber Tuesday afternoon because of the noise the group had made outside during Scott's speech earlier in the day.

* The Senate passed a bill to award Eric Brody $10.8 million, after all parties agreed to a settlement. The measure now moves to the House where it died last year. This is the fifth year the bill will be up 
for vote--it was cut for budget reasons the last four.

* Marco Rubio opened his new Tallahassee Senate office Tuesday.


Who To Watch Today/Quotable Quotes

* “With all the lovely flowers in the House chamber, I can barely smell the Occupy people outside.” -Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, on Twitter

January 10, 2012

Opening Day Daily Digest

Starting this session, Naked Politics is introducing a daily digest of stories. We'll include prominent headlines from the day before, what's to come later today and a person of interest/quote section. A podcast form of this digest will be released soon both here and on iTunes.


Five Stories To Think About Today

* Gov. Rick Scott delivers his second State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at about 11:30 a.m.

* Will Scott demand that lawmakers increase education spending by $1 billion next year?

* A new Quinnipiac University poll out Tuesday will update Scott's poll numbers. Any signs of improvement?

* It's Opening Day of the session -- the only time legislators can accept flower arrangements, candy and other small gifts from lobbyists.

* Will there be an Opening Day hangover? Hundreds of Tallahassee insiders planned to imbibe heavily at Associated Industries' of Florida pre-session bash Monday night.

Three Issues You Missed Yesterday

* The gaming bill (SB 710) passed through the Senate Regulated Industries Committee yesterday 7-3. 

* The school bus advertising bill (SB 344) passed through the Senate Education Committee yesterday 4-2. Sponsor Senator Montford said "it is a desperate move, I believe, but it is one that is necessary."

* The House narrowed redistricting maps down to three for the House and three for Congress.

Who To Watch Today/Quotable Quotes

* Senate President Mike Haridopolos: Will he succeed in getting Senate to approve his top-priority bill to require Broward County to compensate accident victim Eric Brody?

* Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff on how Florida's reputation as a family-friendly destination hasn't been hurt despite other influences: "People don't go to South Beach to see Mickey Mouse."